Nobel Laureate Lecturers

We are pleased to announce the following confirmed Plenary Nobel Laureate Lecturers:

Nobel Medal

Betzig_high resEric Betzig, USA

Eric Betzig received his PhD form Cornell University in 1988 and subsequently worked at AT&T Bell Labs on the development of near-field optics – an early form of super-resolution microscopy. Having resigned his position, he published the concept that would become localization microscopy while unemployed. In 2005, he and his fellow Bell Labs expatriate, Harald Hess, used photoactivated fluorescent proteins to bring super-resolution localization microscopy to reality, building the first prototype in the living room of Dr. Hess. In recognition of this contribution, he shared the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Dr. Betzig is currently a Group Leader at the HHMI Janelia Research Campus where he continues to work in super-resolution, as well as with non-diffracting light sheets for the 4D dynamic imaging of living systems and adaptive optics to recover optimal imaging performance deep within aberrating tissues.
Sydney snipSydney Brenner, South Africa

Sydney Brenner was born and studied medicine in South Africa before moving to England where he received his doctorate in chemistry from Oxford University. In the early 1960s, he co-discovered the existence of messenger RNA and demonstrated that the nucleotide sequence of mRNA determines the order of amino acids in proteins. From the mid 1960s he pioneered the establishment of the nematode C. elegans, as a major model organism for genetics, neurobiology and developmental biology research. As a direct result of his original vision, the worm became the first animal for which the complete cell lineage and entire neuronal wiring were known. In recognition of this outstanding contribution Dr. Brenner, together with Robert Horvitz and John Sulston, was awarded The 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Martin ChalfieDetermining Neuronal Fate in C. elegans
Martin Chalfie, USA

Martin Chalfie is a University Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. In 2008 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his introduction of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) as a biological marker. He uses the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to study nerve cell development and function. His research addresses two quite different biological questions: How do different types of nerve cells acquire and maintain their unique characteristics? and How do sensory cells respond to mechanical signals?
John GurdonSir John Gurdon, UK

John Gurdon joined the MRC molecular biology lab Cambridge in 1971 and co-founded a research Institute of developmental and cancer biology (The Gurdon Institute) with Professor Laskey. Research concentrates on nuclear transplantation in Xenopus and experiments to discover the value of mRNA microinjection, and mechanisms of nuclear reprogramming. Master of Magdalene College Cambridge 1995-2002 his recognitions include the 2009 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Science and the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2012.
Volhard snipHow Fish Colour their Skin: A Paradigm for Development and Evolution of Adult Patterns
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Germany

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard received her diploma in biochemistry in 1968 and a doctorate in genetics in 1973 from the Eberhard-Karl University of Tübingen. Together with Eric Wieschaus she undertook the first saturation mutagenesis screens for embryonic lethals in Drosophila. Their ground breaking discovery of the so-called segmentation hierarchy of gap, pair-rule and segment polarity genes that control the patterning of the antero-posterior axis of the fly was recognized by the award of the 1995 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, which they shared with Edward B. Lewis. In 1981 Nüsslein-Volhard returned to Tübingen, becoming a director of the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology where she has pioneered the use of the zebrafish as a model system for the analysis of vertebrate development.
Eric snipPatterning Transcription in Early Drosophila Embryos
Eric Wieschaus, USA

Eric Wieschaus graduated from Notre Dame University before doing his PhD research at Yale under the supervision first of Donald Poulson and subsequently Walter Gehring. Together with Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard he undertook the first saturation mutagenesis screens for embryonic lethals in Drosophila. Their ground breaking discovery of the so-called segmentation hierarchy of gap, pair-rule and segment polarity genes that control the patterning of the antero-posterior axis of the fly was recognized by the award of the 1995 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, which they shared with Edward B. Lewis. In 1981 Wieschaus moved to Princeton University where he elucidated basic features of the Wnt pathway and more recently has focused on the cell biological mechanisms that control cell shape change and movement during gastrulation.