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

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.

Date Event People Places Sciences
May 1979Centocor foundedKoprowski, Schoemaker, WallWistar InstituteMonoclonal antibodies
Jul 1979Robert Burns Woodward diedWoodwardHarvard UniversityPharmacology
06 Aug 1979Feodor Lynen diedLynenMax-Planck-Institute for Cellular ChemistryBiochemistry
12 Aug 1979Ernst B Chain diedChainOxford UniversityAntibacterial agents
Oct 1979First US patent for monoclonal antibodies grantedKoprowski, MilsteinWistar InstituteMonoclonal antibodies
1980Genetic engineering recognised for patenting  Recombinant DNA
1980First patent awarded for gene cloningCohen, BoyerStanford University Medical SchoolRecombinant DNA
Jan 1980First monoclonal antibody created to purify a human therapeutic protein.Burke, Milstein, SecherLaboratory of Molecular Biology, Warwick UniversityMonoclonal antibodies
1980Cesar Milstein proposed the use of recombinant DNA to improve monoclonal antibodiesMilsteinLaboratory of Molecular BiologyMonoclonal antibodies, Recombinant DNA
1980First monoclonal antibodies developed against T-cells which can also activate human complement.Waldmann, Cobbold, Hale, Metcalfe. Watt, TrangCambridge UniversityMonoclonal antibodies, Campath
1980First application of gene therapy in human patientsClineUCLAGene therapy
1980Sanger awarded his second Nobel Prize in ChemistrySanger, GilbertHarvard University, Laboratory of Molecular BiologySequencing DNA
Jan 1980European Molecular Biology Laboratory convenes meeting on Computing and DNA Sequences EMBLSequencing DNA
1980US National Cancer Institute added $13.5 million to its budget for new Biological Response Modifiers, igniting search for agents able to modify host's response to tumour cells  Immunotherapy, Oncology
1980US licensed first rabies vaccine for human useKoprowski, Plotkin, WiktorWistar InstituteVaccine, Virology
02 Feb 1980William H Stein diedSteinRockefeller UniversityRNA
Jun 1980European Molecular Biology Laboratory makes its nucleic acid database publicly available EMBL 
1980British government commissioned report publically criticises non-patenting of technique for producing monoclonal antibodiesMilstein Monoclonal antibodies
18 Aug 1980Elizabeth Stern Shankman diedShankmanUniversity of California at Los AngelesOncology
Sep 1980First transgenic mice made with recombinant DNA announced Barbosa, Gordon, Plotkin, Ruddle, ScangosYale UniversityGene editing, Transgenic animals, Recombinant DNA

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