This website provides a curated collection of resources about the people, places and technologies that have enabled biotechnology to transform our healthcare and the world we live in today

Timeline of key events

Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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Date Event People Places Sciences
25 Mar 1977Discovery of Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF). This plays an important role in the immune system and the process of inflammation. Burghess, Camakaris, MetcalfWalter and Eliza Hall InstituteImmunology
1977Monoclonals produced against histocompatibility antigensMilstein, Galfre, HowardLaboratory of Molecular Biology, Brabraham InstituteMonoclonal antibodies
01 Apr 1977Development of first anti-idiotype antibodies. These are shown to activate immune defense cells to attack tumour cells in guinea-pigsStevenson, ElliottTenovus Research LaboratoryImmunology, Immunotherapy, Oncology
Jun 1977First US patent application filed for monoclonal antibodiesCroce, Koprowski, MilsteinWistar InstituteMonoclonal antibodies
Jul 1977T cell growth factor, later named Interleukin-2 (IL-2), discovered in mice, providing a means to grow and expand normal lypmphocytes in test tubesRuscetti, Morgan, GalloNational Cancer InstituteImnmunology, Immunotherapy, Oncology
25 Jul 1977Louis F Fieser diedFieserHarvard University 
1977Monoclonal antibodies made to unknown cell surface antigensMilstein, Galfre, WilliamsLaboratory of Molecular Biology, Sir William Dunn School of PathologyMonoclonal antibodies
1978Hybritech foundedRoyston, Birndoff, GreeneSan DiegoMonoclonal antibodies
1978Human insulin produced in E-coli GenentechRecombinant DNA
1978First monoclonal antibodies generated to human T-cellsMilstein, McMichaelLaboratory of Molecular Biology, Oxford UniversityMonoclonal antibodies
1978First monoclonal antibody generated for blood typingMilsteinLaboratory of Molecular Biology, Oxford UniversityMonoclonal antibodies
1978Transplantable stem cells discovered in human cord bloodEvansCambridge UniversityStem cells
Feb 1978First commercialisation of monoclonal antibodies as laboratory reagentsMilstein, MurrayLaboratory of Molecular Biology, Sera-LabMonoclonal antibodies
1978Charles H Best diedBestUniversity of TorontoEndocrinology
Apr 1978Experiments show the possiblity of transforming the genome of yeastHinnen, Hicks, FinkCornell UniversityGene editing
25 Jul 1978The first successful test-tube baby was born   
Oct 1978Nobel Prize for discovery and understanding of restriction enzymesArber, Nathans, SmithJohns Hopkins University, University of GenevaRestriction enzymes, Recombinant DNA, Sequencing DNA
1978T cell-mediated immunity shown to aid tumour regressionBerendt, North, KirsteinTrudeau InstituteImmunotherapy, Oncology
11 Dec 1978Vincent du Vigneaud dieddu VigneaudCornell UniversityBiochemistry
1979The first tumour suppressor gene was discovered, known as p53Crawford, Lane, Deleo, Old, Levine Immunology, Oncology, p53

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