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|Sir John Sulston|
27 March 1942|
|Institutions||Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, University of Manchester|
|Known for||Caenorhabditis elegans, Apoptosis|
|Notable awards||Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2002|
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.