Nobel Laureate Dr Sydney Brenner
Senior Fellow of A*STAR
Senior Fellow at the Janelia Farm Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
Dr Sydney Brenner is a Senior Fellow at the Janelia Farm Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). He is also a Senior Fellow of A*STAR.
Dr Brenner joined the Medical Research Council (MRC) in 1957, as a member of the scientific staff in the predecessor of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and served as Director from 1979 to 1986. He was Director of the Molecular Genetics Unit from 1986 to 1992. Dr Brenner has been a Scientific Advisor to major biotech venture funds, a consultant to multinational companies and was a founder of several start-up companies.
His early research was in molecular genetics, working with bacteriophages and bacteria. He is best known for his work in the 1960's; he discovered messenger RNA (with Jacob and Meselson) and, with Francis Crick, showed that the code was composed of triplets. That discovery won him the Albert Lasker Award in 1971 for basic medical research. He introduced the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism for the study of development and the structure and function of a small nervous system. He initiated research on the compact genome of the puffer fish and led the team which published the draft sequence of the genome.
Dr Brenner, who has been hailed as one of the pioneers of molecular biology, has been associated with Singapore’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) since its very beginning and has seen it grow into the world-class institution that it has become today. For his contributions to the development of life sciences in Singapore, Dr Brenner has received the Distinguished Friends of Singapore 2000 award.
Dr Brenner received his 2nd Lasker Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science to honor him for 50 years of brilliant creativity in biomedical science – exemplified by his legendary work on the genetic code; his daring introduction of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans as a system for tracing the birth and death of every cell in a living animal; and his rational voice in the debate on recombinant DNA.
He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2002.
Back To Top