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
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
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

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