Professor Oliver Smithies ForMemRS
Oliver Smithies was a Nobel Prize-winning geneticist who devised groundbreaking techniques to advance medical research. He introduced starch as a medium for gel electrophoresis in 1955. He also discovered the principles for gene targeting, a method used to inactivate single genes in mouse DNA for use in medical research.
Oliver’s discoveries provided a novel way of creating animal models of human diseases to gain a deeper understanding of genetic processes. His techniques are now used in laboratories around the world to establish the roles of individual genes in cancer, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and other diseases.
Since his election to the US National Academy of Sciences in 1971, Oliver received a great number of awards and honours. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2007, along with colleagues Mario Capecchi and Martin Evans, in recognition of his contribution to the development of gene targeting.
Professor Oliver Smithies ForMemRS died on 10 January 2017.