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Somatic cell nuclear transfer and prospects for cell replacement

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Writing about John Gurdon, an old schoolmaster once declared, “I believe he has ideas about becoming a scientist; on his present showing this is quite ridiculous.”. A few years later, Gurdon removed the nucleus of a fertilized egg cell from a frog and replaced it with the nucleus of a cell taken from a tadpole’s intestine. This modified egg cell grew into a new frog, and so he became the first person to clone an animal, some 3 decades before Dolly the sheep was born, cloned by the same method.

To this day, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) remains integral to stem cell research and regenerative medicine. He also pioneered the technique of mRNA microinjection, an integral part of expression studies ever since. For his immense contributions to science, Professor Gurdon was made a fellow of the Royal Society, knighted and received the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Here in Cambridge, the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute was renamed in his honour. Professor Gurdon was also Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge (1994-2002).

Professor Gurdon’s lab now focusses on elucidating the mechanisms of cellular reprogramming after SCNT . He will be telling us about the development of this field and its potential in regenerative medicine.

FREE ENTRY TO ALL

Drinks served from 6:30pm

This talk is part of the Caius-Trinity MedSoc Talks: The Future of Medicine series.

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