Sydney Brenner

Nobel laureate in Physiology and Medicine for his discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death. Distinguished Professor of Genetics at Scripps Research Institute and at Salk Institute. Director of the VTT/MSI Molecular Sciences Institute and Senior Resident Fellow at Janelia Farm Research.

Avid learner, Brenner enrolled at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa to study medicine at the age of 15. He received his PhD from the University of Oxford in 1954. He had the opportunity to discuss with Francis Crick and Jim Watson about the new discovered structure of DNA and BrennerĀ“s work in bacteriophage was crucial for nowadays understanding of molecular biology. Among his many notable discoveries, Brenner established the existence of messenger RNA and demonstrated how the order of amino acids in proteins is determined. He established Caenorhabditis elegans as a new model organism, studies that provided insights into aging, nerve cell function and apoptosis. He is worldwide admired for his work, wit and courage to undertake new scientific challenges and he has received numerous international awards.

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