The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine to John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka last October 8, 2012. While it’s been a few months since this happened, we wanted to honor these two brilliant men by writing about them today. The award was given “for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent” as stated in the institute’s press release. Or in lay terms, turning an old established cell, into a very young, naive cell. By introducing genetic information from these younger cells, into the older ones, a transformation, or reprogramming occurs creating a whole new way we can now approach regenerative medicine.
A Backward Frog Leap from Adult to Tadpole
Sir John B. Gurdon is a 79 years old British scientist from Gurdon Institute, Cambridge United Kingdom. He is also affiliated with University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and California Institute of Technology. Sir John is a developmental biologist and was famous in the field for his pioneering research in nuclear transplantation and cloning.