Professor Clifford Tabin ForMemRS
Professor and Chairman, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
Tabin has made fundamental discoveries on embryonic development and evolution. A critical turning point in the history of developmental biology was the identification of the first known secreted morphogen, Sonic hedgehog. He clarified how morphogens like Shh orchestrate formation of the embryo, elucidating why the heart is located on the left and not the right side of the body and explaining why the thumb is different from the little finger. This provided critical insight into the origins of human congenital malformations. He has also solved important evolutionary riddles including the causes of variations in beak shape in Darwin's finches.