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
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 BiologyDNA Sequencing
Jan 1980European Molecular Biology Laboratory convenes meeting on Computing and DNA Sequences EMBLDNA Sequencing
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
Sep 1980First DNA sequence database createdDayhoffNational Biomedical Research FoundationDNA Sequencing
1980Largest nucleic acid sequence database in the world made available free over telephone networkDayhoffNational Biomedical Research FoundationDNA Sequencing
Nov 1980Technique published using fine glass micropipettes to inject DNA directly into the nuclei of cultured mammalian cells. High efficiency of the method enables investigators to generate transgenic mice containing random insertions of exogenous DNA. CapecchiUniversity of UtahGene editing, Transgenic animals

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