Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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Pauling was an American chemist and biochemist who helped pioneer quantum chemistry and mechanics. He combined methods from x-ray crystallography, molecular model building and quantum chemistry. Pauling was the first to find the alpha helix structure of proteins. In 1954 he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his 'research on the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex structures.' He also co-authored the first paper to suggest sickle-cell anaemia was a genetic disease, which introduced the concept of 'molecular disease'. 1994-08-19T00:00:00+0000Lwoff was a microbiologist. He shared the 1965 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis'. This was based on work he carried out in the early 1950s to understand lysogeny. This is the process by which some the genes of some viruses, bacteriophages (phage), get incorporated into the genetic material of a bacteria but remain latent until the formation of a new phage triggered by a particular event. He found that exposure to ultraviolet light was one factor that could spur on the development a new phage. Lwoff also discovered that vitamins help promote growth in microbes and can serve as co-enzymes. 1994-09-30T00:00:00+0000Jerne shared the 1984 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'theories concerning the specificity in development and control of the immune system' and laying the foundation for the production of monoclonal antibodies.1994-10-07T00:00:00+0000Wyckoff pioneered x-ray crystallography of bacteria.1994-11-03T00:00:00+0000ReoPro (abciximab), developed by Centocor, approved for use during and after coronary artery procedures like angioplasty. A chimeric antibody (Abciximab) created by Barry Koller to study platelet behaviour, the antibody was found to be more effective than aspirin in prevent platelets from sticking together and causing thrombus (blood clot) formation within the coronary artery. Today the drug is the most commonly used treatment for angioplasty patients, making the procedure safer for use during heart attacks and as a preventative measure. 1994-12-01T00:00:00+0000Abciximab (ReoPro) approved by the FDA and European regulatory authorities to prevent blot clots during coronary artery procedures like angioplasty. The monoclonal antibody was originally developed by Barry Coller at State University of New York and commercially developed by Centocor. The drug showed for the first time that monoclonal antibodies could be used for the treatment of acute disease conditions. 1994-12-01T00:00:00+0000Rouet, P, Smih, F, Jasin, J, 'Introduction of double-strand breaks into genome of mouse cells by expression of a rare-cutting endonuclease', Molecular and Cellular Biology, 14/12 (1994): 8096-106.1994-12-01T00:00:00+0000German regulatory authorities approve Panorex as an adjuvant therapy, that is a drug given in addition to primary or main treatment, for postoperative colorectal cancer. The drug originated from resesearch undertaken by Hilary Koprowski and his colleagues at the Wistar Institute. 1995-01-01T00:00:00+00001995-01-01T00:00:00+0000German regulatory authorities approve edrecolomab (Panorex) as an adjuvant treatment for post-operative colorectal cancer. The monoclonal antibody, originally known as 17-1A, was developed at the Wistar Institute and commercially developed for market by Centocor. 1995-01-01T00:00:00+0000Developed by William Wunner at the Wistar Institute1995-01-01T00:00:00+0000E. R. Kearney, T. L. Walunas, R. W. Karr, P. A. Morton, D. Y. Loh, J. A. Bluestone, M. K. Jenkins, 'Antigen-dependent clonal expansion of a trace population of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells in vivo is dependent on CD28 costimulation and inhibited by CTLA-4', Journal of Immunology, 155/3 (1995), 1032-36; M.F. Krummel, J.P. Allison, 'CD28 and CTLA-4 have opposing effects on the response of T cells to stimulation', J Exp Med, 182/2 (1995), 459-6. 1995-01-01T00:00:00+00001995-01-01T00:00:00+0000Butenandt was a German biochemist. In 1931 he managed to extract estrone and other primary female sex hormones from urine. Three years later he extracted progeterone and testosterone a year later. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1939 for his discovery of sex hormones. Initially Butenandt rejected the Prize in accordance with Nazi government policy, but accepted it in 1949. His involvement with the Nazi regime and science to aid its war efforts led to criticism after World War II. He served as the president of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science between 1960 and 1972.1995-01-18T00:00:00+0000Together with Cesar Milstein, Kohler developed the first unlimited supply of long-lasting monoclonal antibodies. Their technique now underpins the development and application of many diagnostics and therapeutics. Kohler and Milstein devised the method as part of their search for a tool to investigate how the immune system can make so many different kinds antibodies, each able to bind to a highly specific receptor on foreign substances that invade the body. 1995-03-01T00:00:00+0000P.W. Laird, L. Jackson-Grusby, A. Fazeli, S. L. Dickinson, W. E. Jung, E. Li, R.A. Weinberg, R. Jaenisch, 'Suppression of intestinal neoplasia by DNA hypomethylation', Cell, 81 (1995),197-205, April 21, 1995,1995-04-21T00:00:00+0000Anfinsen was an American biochemist who spent his career studying the relationships between structure and function in proteins. He is best known for his studies of ribonuclease, a type of nuclease that catalyses the degradation of RNA into smaller components. In 1972 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work 'on ribonuclease, especially concerning the connection between the amino acid sequence and the biologically active conformation.'1995-05-14T00:00:00+0000A medical researcher and virologist, Salk pioneered the first safe and effective polio vaccine. Introduced in 1955, Salk's vaccine helped curb one of the most frightening public health diseases in the world. Over 1,800,000 school children took part in the trial to test his vaccine. His vaccine used killed vaccine rather than weakened forms of the strain of polio used by Sabin to develop another vaccine against the disease. Salk refused to patent his vaccine and made his technique as widely available as possible. His polio vaccine is now on the World Health Organisation's List of Essential Medicine. 1995-06-23T00:00:00+00001995-07-28T00:00:00+0000S Sakaguchi, N Sakaguchi, M Asano, M Itoh, M Toda, 'Immunologic self-tolerance maintained by activated T cells expressing IL-2 receptor alpha-chains (CD25)', Journal Immunology, 155 (1995), 1151-64. 1995-08-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
19 Aug 1994Linus C Pauling diedPaulingCalifornia Institute of TechnologyGenetics, DNA
30 Sep 1994Andre Michel Lwoff diedLwoffPasteur InstituteMicrobiology, Virology
7 Oct 1994Niels Kaj Jerne diedJerneBasel Institute for ImmunologyImmunology, Monoclonal antibodies
3 Nov 1994Ralph W G Wyckoff diedWyckoffRockefeller UniversityBacteriology, Virology
Dec 1994Second monoclonal antibody drug approvedCollerStony Brook University, CentocorMonoclonal antibodies
1994First chimeric monoclonal antibody therapeutic approved for marketCollerCentocor, State University of New YorkMonoclonal antibodies, Recombinant DNA
Dec 1994Breaks made in a double-strand of DNA in a mouse chromosome for the first time using a rare-cutting endonuclease, I-Scel. The method lays the foundation for a new technique for targeted genome modification using double-stranded breaks instead of plasmids.Rouet, Smih, JasinSloan-Kettering Institute, Cornell UniversityGene editing
1995First monoclonal antibody drug for cancer approved in EuropeKoprowski Monoclonal antibodies
1995First derivation of primate embryonic stem cell lines   Stem cells
1995First monoclonal antibody therapeutic for cancer approved for marketKoprowskiWistar Institute, CentocorMonoclonal antibodies
1995US licensed first wildlife rabies vaccine Wistar InstituteVaccine, Virology
1 Jan 1995Two teams, one led by James Alison and the other by Jeffrey Bluestone, independently show CTLA-4 can inhibit the activity of T cellsAllison, Bluestone, Leach, KrummelUniversity of California Berkeley, University of California San FranciscoImmune checkpoint inhibitors
1995Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Eric Wieschaus and Edward B Lewis jointly awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for illuminating the genetic control of embryonic developmentNusslein-Volhard, Wieschaus, Lewis Genetics, Embryology
18 Jan 1995Adolf F J Butenandt diedButenandtMax Planck InstituteEndocrinology, Reproduction
1 Mar 1995Georges Kohler diedKohlerLaboratory of Molecular BiologyMonoclonal antibodies
21 Apr 1995First evidence published to demonstrate reduced DNA methylation contributes to formation of tumoursLaird, Jackson-Grusby, Fazeli, Dickinson, Jung, Li, Weinberg, JaenischMassachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts General HospitalDNA methylation, Epigenetics, Oncology
14 May 1995Christian B Anfinsen died AnfinsenNational Institutes of HealthRNA
23 Jun 1995Jonas Salk diedSalkUniversity of PittsburghVirology, Vaccine
Jul 1995Craig Venter's team at The Institute of Genomics Research (TIGR) published the first complete sequence of the 1.8 Mbp genome of a free-living organism (the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae)VenterThe Institute for Genomic ResearchDNA Sequencing, Genomics
1 Aug 1995Identification of regulatory T cells (CD4+CD25+) and their role in protecting against autoimmunity  Immunology

19 Aug 1994

Linus C Pauling died

30 Sep 1994

Andre Michel Lwoff died

7 Oct 1994

Niels Kaj Jerne died

3 Nov 1994

Ralph W G Wyckoff died

Dec 1994

Second monoclonal antibody drug approved

1994

First chimeric monoclonal antibody therapeutic approved for market

Dec 1994

Breaks made in a double-strand of DNA in a mouse chromosome for the first time using a rare-cutting endonuclease, I-Scel. The method lays the foundation for a new technique for targeted genome modification using double-stranded breaks instead of plasmids.

1995

First monoclonal antibody drug for cancer approved in Europe

1995

First derivation of primate embryonic stem cell lines

1995

First monoclonal antibody therapeutic for cancer approved for market

1995

US licensed first wildlife rabies vaccine

1 Jan 1995

Two teams, one led by James Alison and the other by Jeffrey Bluestone, independently show CTLA-4 can inhibit the activity of T cells

1995

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Eric Wieschaus and Edward B Lewis jointly awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for illuminating the genetic control of embryonic development

18 Jan 1995

Adolf F J Butenandt died

1 Mar 1995

Georges Kohler died

21 Apr 1995

First evidence published to demonstrate reduced DNA methylation contributes to formation of tumours

14 May 1995

Christian B Anfinsen died

23 Jun 1995

Jonas Salk died

Jul 1995

Craig Venter's team at The Institute of Genomics Research (TIGR) published the first complete sequence of the 1.8 Mbp genome of a free-living organism (the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae)

1 Aug 1995

Identification of regulatory T cells (CD4+CD25+) and their role in protecting against autoimmunity