Timeline of key events in biotechnology

Mouseover the event title for a more detailed description of the event (if available). 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.

McClintock was the first to discover that genes could shift to different locations by themselves. 1992-09-02T00:00:00+0000W.F. Zapisek, G.M. Cronin, B.D. Lyn-Cook, L.A. Poirier, 'The onset of oncogene hypomethylation in the livers of rats fed methyl-deficient, amino acid-defined diets', Carcinogenesis, 13/10 (1992), 1869-72.1992-10-01T00:00:00+0000Y. Ishida, Y. Agata, T. Honjo, 'Induced expression of PD-1, a novel member of the immunoglobulin gene superfamily, upon programmed cell death', EMBO J, 11 (1992), 3887-95.1992-11-01T00:00:00+0000This is accomplished through the generation of embryonic stem cell-derived mice.1993-01-01T00:00:00+00001993-01-01T00:00:00+0000Z Eshhar, 'Specific activation and targeting of cytotoxic lymphocytes through chimeric single chains consisting of antibody-binding domains and the gamma or zeta subunits of the immunoglobulin and T-cell receptors', PNAS USA, 90/2 (1989), 720-24.1993-01-15T00:00:00+0000Interim trial data from trials show unexpectedly high mortality from Centoxin, leading to withdrawal of the drug from the European market. Reinforces general pessimism about the future for monoclonal antibody drugs. 1993-02-01T00:00:00+0000Holley shared the 1968 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis.'1993-02-11T00:00:00+0000G Dranoff, E Jaffee, A Lazenby, P Golumbek, H Levitsky, K Brose, V Jackson, H Hamada, D Pardoll, RC Mulligan, 'Vaccination with irradiated tumor cells engineered to secrete murine granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor stimulates potent, specific, and long-lasting anti-tumor immunity', Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 90 (1993), 3539–43.1993-04-15T00:00:00+0000WS el-Deiry et al, 'WAF1, a potential mediator of p53 tumor suppression', Cell, 75 (1993), 817–25.1993-09-01T00:00:00+0000Cetus was the first biotechnology company to be founded1993-10-13T00:00:00+0000FDA publishes Application of Current Statutory Authorities to Human Somatic Cell Therapy Products and Gene Therapy Products.1993-10-14T00:00:00+0000A Spanish biochemist, Ochoa helped outline the mechanisms involved in the synthesis of DNA and RNA. This was helped by his discovery of an enzyme in bacteria that allowed him to synthesize ribonucleic acid or RNA.1993-11-01T00:00:00+0000The drug, a genetically engineered enzyme, was developed by the Genentech researcher Steven Shak. It was the first new treatment for cystic fibrosis in 30 years. The enzyme was engineered to dissolve mucus plugs in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.1993-12-30T00:00:00+00001994-01-01T00:00:00+00001994-01-01T00:00:00+0000Three groups of scientists separately report the successful generation of different strains of transgenic mice for the generation of human monoclonal antibodies. Two of the teams are based in biotechnology companies: GenPharm (led by Nils Lonsberg), Cell Gensys (led by Larry Green) , and the other involved a collaboration (led by Marian Bruggemann and Michael Neuberger) between scientists at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Braham Institute and the University of Cologne.1994-01-01T00:00:00+0000Howard shared the 1975 Nobel Prize for Medicine for work on the interactions between tumour viruses and the genetic material of the cell. 1994-02-09T00:00:00+0000A Bendelac et al, Science, 263 (1994), 1774-78; A Bendelac et al, Science, 268 (1995), 863-5. 1994-03-25T00:00:00+0000Sperry won the 1981 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning the functional specialization of the cerebral hemispheres.'1994-04-17T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
2 Sep 1992Barbara McClintock diedMcClintockUniversity of MissouriGenetics
1 Oct 1992First experimental evidence showing links between diet and DNA methylation and its relationship with cancerZapisek, Cronin, Lyn-Cook, PoirierFDA, National Center for Toxicological ResearchDNA methylation, Epigenetics, Oncology
Nov 1992PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) discovered by team led by Tasuku HonjoHonjoKyoto UniversityImmune checkpoint inhibitors
1993Embryonic stem cells are proven to be pluripotent; having the ability to differentiate into different cell types  Stem cells
1993Wistar Institute patented Bcl-2, the first of a family of genes associated with different types of cancer Wistar InstituteOncology
15 Jan 1993Chimeric receptor genes added to T lymphocytes shown to enhance power of adoptive cellular therapy against tumoursEshhar, Waks, Gross, SchindlerWeizmann InstituteAdoptive cell therapy, Cancer immunotherapy, Gene therapy
Feb 1993Centoxin withdrawn from European market CentocorMonoclonal antibodies
11 Feb 1993Robert W Holley diedHolleyCornell UniversityGenetics
15 Apr 1993Immune molecule, granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor or GM-CSF, discovered to strengthen immunity against tumours Dranoff, Jaffee, Lazenby, Golumbek, Levitsky, Brose, Jackson, Hamada, Pardoll, MulliganMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
Sep 1993p21 shown to be a p53 target geneel-Deiry, Tokino, Velculescu, Levy, Parsons, Trent, Lin, Mercer, Kinzler, Vogelstein Johns Hopkins University, National Center for Human Genome Research, Thomas Jefferson UniversityOncology, p53
Oct 1993Cetus Corporation was sold to Chiron and its patent rights sold for US$300 million to Hoffman-La Roche Cetus Corporation, Chiron, Hoffman-La RochePCR
Oct 1993FDA lays out regulations governing gene therapy  Gene therapy
1 Nov 1993Severo Ochoa diedOchoaNew York UniversityGenetics, DNA
Dec 1993Recombinant human deoxyribonuclease approved by FDA for cystic fibrosis GenentechRecombinant DNA
1994First separation of cancer stem cells from the majority of cells in a cancer   Stem cells
1994Patients with damaged corneas successfully treated with corneal stem cells   Stem cells
1994First transgenic mice strains reported for producing human monoclonal antibodiesBruggemann, Green, Lonsberg, NeubergerCell Genesys, GenPharm, Laboratory of Molecular BiologyMonoclonal antibodies, Transgenic animals, Gene cloning
9 Feb 1994Howard M Temin diedTeminUniversity of WisconsinGenetics, Virology, Oncology
1994 - 1995Identification and characterisation of the natural killer T cell, a lymphocyte able to bind and kill certain tumour and virus-infected cellsBendelacUniversity of ChicagoImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
17 Apr 1994Roger W Sperry diedSperryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyNeuroscience

2 Sep 1992

Barbara McClintock died

1 Oct 1992

First experimental evidence showing links between diet and DNA methylation and its relationship with cancer

Nov 1992

PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) discovered by team led by Tasuku Honjo

1993

Embryonic stem cells are proven to be pluripotent; having the ability to differentiate into different cell types

1993

Wistar Institute patented Bcl-2, the first of a family of genes associated with different types of cancer

15 Jan 1993

Chimeric receptor genes added to T lymphocytes shown to enhance power of adoptive cellular therapy against tumours

Feb 1993

Centoxin withdrawn from European market

11 Feb 1993

Robert W Holley died

15 Apr 1993

Immune molecule, granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor or GM-CSF, discovered to strengthen immunity against tumours

Sep 1993

p21 shown to be a p53 target gene

Oct 1993

Cetus Corporation was sold to Chiron and its patent rights sold for US$300 million to Hoffman-La Roche

Oct 1993

FDA lays out regulations governing gene therapy

1 Nov 1993

Severo Ochoa died

Dec 1993

Recombinant human deoxyribonuclease approved by FDA for cystic fibrosis

1994

First separation of cancer stem cells from the majority of cells in a cancer

1994

Patients with damaged corneas successfully treated with corneal stem cells

1994

First transgenic mice strains reported for producing human monoclonal antibodies

9 Feb 1994

Howard M Temin died

1994 - 1995

Identification and characterisation of the natural killer T cell, a lymphocyte able to bind and kill certain tumour and virus-infected cells

17 Apr 1994

Roger W Sperry died