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
Nov 1988Patent application filed for the the use of PCR to create a library of antibody fragmentsGussow, Jones, Olandi, WinterLaboratory of Molecular Biology, Istituto Nazionale dei TumoriMonoclonal antibodies, PCR
Nov 1988Gene targeting technique shown to be efficient in modifying DNA in mammalian cells which can be adapted for other systems. This is the first time genome modification appears possible. Jasin, BergStanford UniversityGene editing
Nov 1988Oncogene disrupted in mice using gene targeting technologyMansour, Thomas, CapecchiUniversity of UtahGene editing
Dec 1988Scientists report cloning the gene for the human cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen (CTLA-4)Dariavach, Mattei, Golstein, LefrancINSERM-CNRSImmune checkpoint inhibitors, Immunology, Immunotherapy, Oncology
22 Dec 19889 out of 15 melanoma patients successfully treated with autologous tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes cultured with the cytokine IL-2RosenbergNational Cancer InstituteImmunotherapy
Jan 1989PCR technique starts being used for DNA finger printing tests  PCR
1989Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) foundedWinter, ChiswellLaboratory of Molecular Biology, CATMonoclonal antibodies, Phage Display
1989p53 demonstrated to be a tumour suppressor geneBaker, Fearon, Nigro, Hamilton, Preisinger, Jessup, vanTuinen, Ledbetter, Barker, Nakamura, White, Vogelstein, Eliyahu, Michalovitz, Pinhasi-Kimhi, Oren, Finlay, Hinds, Levine Johns Hopkins University, Weizmann Institute, Princeton UniversityOncology, p53
1989Mutations in p53 found in germline of cancer-prone familiesMalkin, Srivastava, Zou, Pirollo, Blattner, ChangMassachusetts General Hospital, Uniformed Services UniversityOncology, p53
Feb 1989Scientists demonstrate the importance of CD28, a cell surface molecule found on T-cells, for the activation and survival of T cellsThompson, Lindsten, Ledbetter, Kunkel, Young, Emerson, Leiden, JuneHoward Hughes Medical InstituteImmunology, Immunotherapy, Oncology
09 Jul 1989George Wells Beadle diedBeadleCalifornia Institute of TechnologyGenetics
Sep 1989Giorgio Trinchieri and colleagues identified interleukin-12 (IL-12), a cytokine that helps regulate the body’s resistance to infections and cancerKobayashi, Fitz, Ryan, Hewick, Clark, Chan, Loudon, Sherman, Perussia, TrinchieriWistar InstituteImmunology, Immunotherapy, Oncology
Sep 1989DNA methylation suggested to inactivate tumour suppressor genesGreger, Passarge, Hopping, Messmer, HorsthemkeInstitute of Human GeneticsDNA methylation, Epigenetics, Oncology
Dec 1989First use of genetically engineered T cells to redirect T cells to recognise and attack tumour cellsGross, Waks, EshharWeizmann InstituteGene therapy, Immunology, Immunotherapy, Oncology
07 Dec 1989Mutations in p53 gene found to play role in development of many common cancersVogelstein, NigroJohns Hopkins UniversityOncology, p53
1990Phage display monoclonal antibodies createdWinterLaboratory of Molecular Biology, CATMonoclonal antibodies, Phage Display
1990Discovery of the nesting gene, the most commonly used marker for neural stem cellsLendahlKarolinska InstitutetStem cells
1990Mouse marrow regenerating stem cells are completely separated from in vivo colony-forming cells for first time  Stem cells
1990FDA approved first gene therapy trialAnderson, Blaese, CulverNational Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Natiuonal Cancer InstituteGene therapy
1990US FDA approved BCG, a bacterial vaccine against tuberculosis, to treat early stage bladder cancer. It was the first FDA approved immunotherapyHerr, OettgenMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterImmunology, Immunotherapy, Oncology, Virology

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