Cambridge University: Timeline of key events

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Waldmann is an immunologist who demonstrated how monoclonal antibodies could induce tolerance to foreign proteins and transplanted tissues. He and his team developed the first humanised monoclonal antibody (alemtuzumab) which is now used for combating leukaemia, preventing transplant rejection and treating autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and vasculitis. 1945-02-27T00:00:00+0000Aston was British a chemist and physicist who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1922 for his identification of isotopes (atoms of the same element that differ in mass). He initially found them in the element neon and later in chlorine and mercury. Aston made the discovery with the help of a mass spectometer which made it possible to separate the isotopes of the chemical elements. Overall Aston discovered 212 naturally occurring isotopes.1945-11-20T00:00:00+0000Hopkins was a British biochemist who shared the 1929 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discovering vitamins and demonstrating they are an important nutrient in the diet. This was based on experiments he carried out on rats in 1901. He also helped establish the chemistry of muscle contraction, showing that lactic acid accumulates in working muscle in 1907. In 1922 he isolated and demonstrated the importance of tripeptide gluathione to the utilisation of oxygen by the cell. 1947-05-16T00:00:00+00001949-10-01T00:00:00+0000Nature published Crick and Watson's letter on Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for DNA in which they described a double helix structure.1953-04-02T00:00:00+0000One paper, published by Rosalind Franklin with her PhD student Ray Gosling, included an image produced with x-ray crystallogaphy, which showed DNA to have regularly repeating helical structure. Known as photograph 51, this image had been previously been shown by Maurice Wilkins, without Franklin's permission, to James Watson, who, together with Francis Crick, used it to develop their double-helix model of DNA which was also published in Nature. Calculations from the photograph provided crucial parameters for the size of the helix and its structure, all of which were critical for Watson and Crick's molecular modelling work. Crick and Watson depicted DNA as having a double helix in which A always pairs with T, and C always with G. Their final model represented a correction of an earlier model in the light of comments made by Franklin that the hydrophilic backbones should not go at the centre of the molecule, as Watson and Crick had originally assumed, but go on the outside of the molecule where they could interact with water. The three papers were published in Nature, 171 (25 April 1953), 737-41.1953-04-25T00:00:00+0000Sanger's insulin results establish for the first time that proteins are chemical entities with a defined sequence. The technique Sanger develops for sequencing insulin later becomes known as the degradation or DNP method. It provides the basis for his later development of sequencing tecdhniques for nucleic acids, including RNA and DNA.1955-01-01T00:00:00+0000Ingram shows that the difference between sickle-cell and normal haemoglobulin lies in just one amino acid. 1957-01-01T00:00:00+0000C.H. Waddington, The Strategy of the Genes: A Discussion of Some Aspects of Theoretical Biology (London, 1957).1957-01-01T00:00:00+0000Prize awarded to Sanger 'for his work on the structure of proteins, especially that of insulin'.1958-01-01T00:00:00+00001960-01-01T00:00:00+0000M.F. Lyon, 'Gene action in the X-chromosome of the mouse', Nature, 190 (1961), 372–73.1961-04-22T00:00:00+00001962-01-01T00:00:00+0000The prize was awarded to James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins who helped to show that the DNA molecule consists of two strands that wind round each other like a twisted ladder. They argued that each strand contains a backbone made up of alternating groups of sugar (deoxyribose) and phosphate groups and that each sugar had an attached one of four nucelotide bases: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), or thymine (T). Much of this work rested on the work of Rosalind Franklin and and her student Ray Gosling. Franklin died before the Nobel Prize was awarded. 1962-10-19T00:00:00+0000John Burdon Sanderson Haldane was a geneticist, biometrician and physiologist who helped to open up new research paths into population genetics and evolution. He was responsible for the establishment of human gene maps for haemophilia and colour blindness on the X chromosome and was one of the first to suggest that sickle-cell anaemia can provide some immunity to malaria. Haldane is also remembered for establishing the principles for in vitro fertilisation and for coining the terms 'clone' and 'cloning' in human biology. He was also a strong populariser of science and a renowned socialist.1964-12-01T00:00:00+0000Waldmann, under the mentorship of Alan Munro, launches research to understand the mechanism behind immune tolerance. 1973-01-01T00:00:00+0000Hill was a British physiologist who helped found the disciplines of biophysics and operations research. His investigations into the physiological thermodynamics of muscle and nerve tissue helped to demonstrate that oxygen is necessary for recovery from muscular activity. At one point he used himself as a research subject which involved him running for three and a quarter hours every morning. His work paved the way to the discovery of a series of biochemical reactions carried out in muscle cells that are necessary for contraction. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1922 for helping to elucidate the production of heat and mechanical work in muscles.1977-06-07T00:00:00+0000Adrian was a British electrophysiologist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1932 for his discoveries relating to the nerve cell. This he did with the help of a capillary electrometer and cathode ray tube to amplify the signals produced by the nerve system. Recording the electrical discharge of single nerve fibres under stimulus in frog he was the first to prove the presence of electricity within nerve cells. This paved the way to a better understanding of the physical basis of sensation and the mechanism of muscular control. His work on the electrical activity of the brain opened up new investigations into epilepsy and the location of cerebral lesions.1977-08-04T00:00:00+00001978-01-01T00:00:00+0000Work begins on the development of an anti-T-cell monoclonal antibody that can fix human complement to be used as a tool to prevent graft-versus-host disease in patients receiving bone marrow transplants. 1979-01-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
27 Feb 1945Herman Waldmann was born in UKWaldmannCambridge University, Oxford UniversityImmunology, Monoclonal antibodies
20 Nov 1945Francis W Aston diedAstonCambridge University 
16 May 1947Frederick Gowland Hopkins diedHopkinsCambridge UniversityBiochemistry, Cell
1949 - 1952Askonas completed doctorate on biochemistry of the muscle at Cambridge UniversityAskonasCambridge University 
2 Apr 1953Nature published Crick and Watson's letter on Molecular Structure of Nucleic AcidsWatson,CrickCambridgeDNA
25 Apr 1953Nature published three papers showing the molecular structure of DNA to be a double helixFranklin, Gosling, Crick, Watson, Wilkins. Stokes, WilsonBirkbeck College, Kings College London, Cambridge UniversityDNA
1955Sanger completes the full sequence of amino acids in insulinSangerCambridge UniversityDNA Sequencing
1957Victor Ingram breaks the genetic code behind sickle-cell anaemia using Sanger's sequencing techniqueIngram, SangerCambridge UniversityDNA Sequencing
1957Conrad Waddington develops model of epigenetic landscape to show the process of cellular decision-making during biological developmentWaddngtonCambridge UniversityEpigenetics, Embryology
1958Sanger awarded his first Nobel Prize in ChemistrySangerCambridge UniversityDNA Sequencing
1960Sanger begins to devise ways to sequence nucleic acids, starting with RNASangerCambridge UniversityDNA Sequencing
22 Apr 1961Genes linked to X-chromosome inactivation in female mice embyosLyonCambridge UniversityEpigenetics, Embyology
1962Nuclei from adult frog cells reprogrammed to full embryonic potential after transfer into frog eggsGurdon, AltmanCambridge UniversityStem cells
19 Oct 1962Nobel Prize awarded for uncovering the structure of DNAWatson, Crick, Wilkins, Franklin, GoslingUniversity of Cambridge, King's College London, Birkbeck CollegeDNA
1 Dec 1964JBS Haldane diedJBS HaldaneUniversity of Cambridge, University of California Berkeley, University of LondonGenetics, Biology, Physiology
1973Herman Waldmannn joins the Department of Pathology, Cambridge University.WaldmannCambridge UniversityCampath
7 Jun 1977Achibald Vivian Hill diedHillCambridge University, University of Manchester, University College LondonPhysiology
4 Aug 1977Edgar Douglas Adrian diedAdrianCambridge UniversityNeuroscience
1978Transplantable stem cells discovered in human cord bloodEvansCambridge UniversityStem cells
1979Waldmann is joined in his work by Stephen Cobbold, Geoff Hale, Alan Munro, Don Metcalfe, Suzanne Watt and Hoang Trang.Waldmann, Cobbold, Hale, Metcalfe. Watt, TrangCambridge UniversityCampath

27 Feb 1945

Herman Waldmann was born in UK

20 Nov 1945

Francis W Aston died

16 May 1947

Frederick Gowland Hopkins died

1949 - 1952

Askonas completed doctorate on biochemistry of the muscle at Cambridge University

2 Apr 1953

Nature published Crick and Watson's letter on Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids

25 Apr 1953

Nature published three papers showing the molecular structure of DNA to be a double helix

1955

Sanger completes the full sequence of amino acids in insulin

1957

Victor Ingram breaks the genetic code behind sickle-cell anaemia using Sanger's sequencing technique

1957

Conrad Waddington develops model of epigenetic landscape to show the process of cellular decision-making during biological development

1958

Sanger awarded his first Nobel Prize in Chemistry

1960

Sanger begins to devise ways to sequence nucleic acids, starting with RNA

22 Apr 1961

Genes linked to X-chromosome inactivation in female mice embyos

1962

Nuclei from adult frog cells reprogrammed to full embryonic potential after transfer into frog eggs

19 Oct 1962

Nobel Prize awarded for uncovering the structure of DNA

1 Dec 1964

JBS Haldane died

1973

Herman Waldmannn joins the Department of Pathology, Cambridge University.

7 Jun 1977

Achibald Vivian Hill died

4 Aug 1977

Edgar Douglas Adrian died

1978

Transplantable stem cells discovered in human cord blood

1979

Waldmann is joined in his work by Stephen Cobbold, Geoff Hale, Alan Munro, Don Metcalfe, Suzanne Watt and Hoang Trang.

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