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John Sulston

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Sir John Sulston

Born 27 March 1942
Nationality Britain
Fields Biology
Institutions Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, University of Manchester
Alma mater Cambridge
Known for Caenorhabditis elegans, Apoptosis
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2002
European Bioinformatics Institute and Sulston Laboratories of the Sanger Institute.

Sir John Edward Sulston FRS (27 March 1942) is a British biologist. He is a joint winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

He was the first Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and is now Chair of the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation at the University of Manchester.[1][2]


He first studied at the University of Cambridge in Pembroke College, where he graduated in 1963. He then stayed on to do his PhD there. After working at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, California, for a while, he returned to Cambridge to work under Sydney Brenner at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.

Sulston played a central role in both the Caenorhabditis elegans roundworm and human genome sequencing projects. He had argued successfully for the sequencing of C. elegans to show that large-scale genome sequencing projects could be done. As sequencing of the worm genome proceeded, the project to sequence the human genome began. At this point he was made director of the newly established Sanger Centre (named after Fred Sanger).

One of Sulston's most important contributions during his research years at the LMB was to find the precise order in which cells in C. elegans divide. In fact, he and his team succeeded in tracing the nematode's entire embryonic cell lineage. Sulston is now a leading campaigner against the patenting of human genetic information.


  1. Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation : iSEI
  2. University of Manchester
This person won a Nobel Prize
[[Category:British Nobel Prize winners