Timeline of key events in biotechnology

Mouseover the event title for a more detailed description of the event (if available). To search for particular terms in the description of the event enter the term in the box below 'Event' on the table and press 'enter'. Alternatively use the dropdown lists to filter by Person, Place or Science. Click here to clear the filter.

Muller was awarded the 1946 Nobel Prize for 'the discovery of the production of mutations by means of X-ray irradiation'.1890-12-21T00:00:00+0000Northrop shared the 1946 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for helping to develop the technique for purifying and crystallising enzymes and virus proteins.1891-07-05T00:00:00+0000Banting was a physician who helped discover and isolate insulin. He also helped demonstrate its use in the treatment of diabetes in dogs. 1891-11-14T00:00:00+0000The Institute was founded to honour the memory of the physician Caspar Wistar and preserve his collection of anatomical models as teaching aids and to further medical knowledge. It was founded by Caspar's great nephew, Isaac Wistar, a prominent Philadelphia lawyer and former Civil War Brigadier General. 1892-01-01T00:00:00+0000Heymans, a pharmacologsit, won the 1938 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discovering how respiration is regulated by pressure sensory organs associated with the cartoid artery and aortic arch.1892-03-28T00:00:00+0000Moore was the first to isolate male sex hormones andresterone and testosterone1892-12-05T00:00:00+0000Cohn developed a fractionation technique to separate blood into its components, paving the way to safer blood transfusion. 1892-12-17T00:00:00+0000Based on the observation that some tumours shrink in patients with a bacterial skin infection, the surgeon William Coley treated a 21 year old man with inoperable sarcoma with mixture containing heat-treated bacteria. The man went into complete remision. W. Coley, 'The Treatment of Malignant Tumors By Repeated Inoculations of Erysipelas: With A Report of Ten Original Cases', The American Journal of Medical Sciences, 105 (1893): 487-511. 1893-05-01T00:00:00+0000Albert Szent-Gyorgyi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1937 for his work on the biochemistry of respiration and his discovery of vitamin C and the components and reactions of the citric acid cycle.1893-09-16T00:00:00+0000Doisy was an American biochemist who helped discover the chemistry of vitamin K. Vitamin K is used in surgery and medicine to promote blood clotting. He also isolated the sex hormones estrone, estriol, and estradiol.1893-11-13T00:00:00+00001894-01-01T00:00:00+0000Brown-Sequard discovered the physiology of the spinal cord and the need for the adrenal gland. He also predicted the existence of hormones.1894-04-02T00:00:00+0000Jules Bordet, a Belgian immunologist and microbiologist, on the basis of experiments heating fresh serum containing antibacterial antibodies, detects the presence of a substance, initially called alexin or complement which appears to act as an accessory to antibodies, taking on the role of destroying antigens.1895-01-01T00:00:00+0000Antiserum preparted against human oesteogenic sarcoma in an ass and 2 dogs. Reported successful in treating 50 patients suffering from cancer of the stomach and chest wall. J Hericourt, C Richet, 'Traitement d'un cas de sarcome par la sarcome par la serotherapie', Seances Acad Sci, 120 (1895), 948-50.1895-01-01T00:00:00+0000Dam shared the 1943 Nobel Prize for Medicine for the discovery of vitamin K, which he established was important for blood-clotting.1895-02-21T00:00:00+0000A German chemist, Hoppe-Seyler helped pioneer the disciplines of biochemistry and molecular biology. He studied fluids of the body such as blood, haemoglobin, pus, bile, milk, and urine and was the first to crystallize haemoglobin and observe its absorption spectrum.1895-08-10T00:00:00+0000A Swiss physician and biochemist. Miescher, was the first person to isolate nucleic acids which would subsequently be found to carry the genetic blueprint for life. 1895-08-26T00:00:00+0000A French chemist and microbiologist, Pasteur helped develop a method to slow the development of microbes in milk and wine called pasteurisation. He also pioneered the first vaccine against rabies.1895-09-28T00:00:00+0000Domagk won the 1939 Nobel Prize for Medicine for the discovery of sulphonamides, the first anti-bacterial drug.1895-10-30T00:00:00+0000Hench shared the 1950 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries relating to the hormones of the adrenal cortex, their structure and biological effects'.1896-02-28T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
21 Dec 1890Hermann J Muller was born in New York, USAMullerIndiana UniversityGenetics
Jul 1891John H Northrop born in Yonkers NY, USANorthrop  
14 Nov 1891Frederick Grant Banting was born in CanadaGrantUniversity of TorontoBiochemistry
1892Establishment of the Wistar Institute Wistar Institute 
28 Mar 1892Corneille Jean Francois Heymans born in Ghent, Belgium   
5 Dec 1892Carl Richard Moore was born in Missouri, USAMooreUniversity of ChicagoBiochemistry, Endocrinology
17 Dec 1892Edwin J Cohn was born in New York CityCohnNew York CityBiochemistry
May 1893First successful treatment of cancer patient with immunotherapyColeyMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterCancer immunotherapy, Oncology
16 Sep 1893Albert Szent-Gyorgyi von Nagyrapolt was born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary (now Hungary)Szent-Gyorgyi Szeged UniversityCell
13 Nov 1893Edward A Doisy was born   
1894Opening of new building for the Wistar Institute designed to house its museum of anatonmical models and foster research Wistar Institute 
2 Apr 1894Charles-Edouard Brown-Sequard diedBrown-Sequard Endocrinology
1895Complement detected to be an accessory to antibodiesBordetPasteur InstituteAntibodies
1895Humans treated with antiserum prepared against human cancer. This established the principle of using serotherapy to fight cancerHericourt, RichetCollege de FranceImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology, Monoclonal antibodies
21 Feb 1895Carl P H Dam was born in Copenhagen, DenmarkDamCopenhagen, Denmark 
10 Aug 1895Felix Hoppe-Seyler diedHoppe-SeylerUniversity of TubingenBiochemistry
26 Aug 1895Johann Friedrich Miescher diedMiescher DNA Sequencing
28 Sep 1895Louis Pasteur diedPasteurPasteur InstituteBacteriology, Vaccine
30 Oct 1895Gerhard Domagk was born in Lagow, GermanyDomagkMunster UniversityAntibacterial agents, Bacteriology
28 Feb 1896Philip Showalter Hench was born in Pittsburgh PA, USAHenchMayo ClinicBiochemistry, Endocrinology

21 Dec 1890

Hermann J Muller was born in New York, USA

21 Dec 1890

John H Northrop born in Yonkers NY, USA

14 Nov 1891

Frederick Grant Banting was born in Canada

1892

Establishment of the Wistar Institute

28 Mar 1892

Corneille Jean Francois Heymans born in Ghent, Belgium

5 Dec 1892

Carl Richard Moore was born in Missouri, USA

17 Dec 1892

Edwin J Cohn was born in New York City

May 1893

First successful treatment of cancer patient with immunotherapy

16 Sep 1893

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi von Nagyrapolt was born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary (now Hungary)

13 Nov 1893

Edward A Doisy was born

1894

Opening of new building for the Wistar Institute designed to house its museum of anatonmical models and foster research

2 Apr 1894

Charles-Edouard Brown-Sequard died

1895

Complement detected to be an accessory to antibodies

1895

Humans treated with antiserum prepared against human cancer. This established the principle of using serotherapy to fight cancer

21 Feb 1895

Carl P H Dam was born in Copenhagen, Denmark

10 Aug 1895

Felix Hoppe-Seyler died

26 Aug 1895

Johann Friedrich Miescher died

28 Sep 1895

Louis Pasteur died

30 Oct 1895

Gerhard Domagk was born in Lagow, Germany

28 Feb 1896

Philip Showalter Hench was born in Pittsburgh PA, USA