Greg Winter

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Sir Gregory Winter CBE
Born (1951-04-14) 14 April 1951 (age 63)
Residence Cambridge, UK
Fields Biochemistry
Institutions University of Cambridge
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge
Thesis The amino acid sequence of tryptophanyl tRNA synthetase from Bacillus stearothermophilus (1977)
Notable awards Kt, CBE, FRS, FMedSci

Sir Gregory Paul "Greg" Winter, CBE, FRS, FMedSci (born 14 April 1951) is a British biochemist, a pioneer of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. He invented techniques to both humanise (1986) and, later, to fully humanise using phage display, antibodies for therapeutic uses.[1] Previously, antibodies had been derived from mice, which made them difficult to use in human therapeutics because the human immune system had anti-mouse reactions to them.

He is a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge and was installed as the Master of Trinity on 2 October 2012.[2] He was previously Deputy Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Medical Research Council, and Head of the Division of Protein and Nucleic Acids Chemistry.[3]


Winter studied at the University of Cambridge. He subsequently graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1973. He read for and obtained PhD with thesis titled "The amino acid sequence of tryptophanyl tRNA synthetase from Bacillus stearothermophilus" in 1977 and further postdoctoral work at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.[4]

He later founded Cambridge Antibody Technology in 1989, and Bicycle Therapeutics.[5][6] He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Covagen.[7][8]

In 1989, Winter was a founder of Cambridge Antibody Technology, one of the early commercial biotech companies involved in antibody engineering. One of the most successful antibody drugs developed was HUMIRA (adalimumab), which was discovered by Cambridge Antibody Technology as D2E7, and developed and marketed by Abbott Laboratories. HUMIRA, an antibody to TNF alpha, was the world's first fully human antibody,[9] which achieved annual sales exceeding $1bn[10] therefore achieving blockbuster status - see Pharmaceutical_drug#Other/related topics. Cambridge Antibody Technology was acquired by Astrazeneca in 2006 for £702m.[11]

In 2000, Winter founded a company called Domantis to pioneer the use of domain antibodies, which use only the active portion of a full-sized antibody. Domantis was acquired by the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline in December 2006 for £230M.[12]

He subsequently founded another company, Bicycle Therapeutics Limited as a start up company which is trying to develop very small protein mimics based on a covalently bonded hydrophobic core.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1990 and awarded the Royal Medal by the society in 2011 "for his pioneering work in protein engineering and therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, and his contributions as an inventor and entrepreneur".[13] He was given the Scheele Award in 1994. In 1995, Winter won several international awards including the King Faisal International Prize for Medicine (Molecular Immunology) and in 1999, the Cancer Research Institute William B. Coley Award. Winter was formerly the Joint Head of the Division of Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry-Biotechnology, and is Deputy Director,[14] at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, an institution funded by the UK Medical Research Council. He was also Deputy Director of the MRC’s Centre for Protein Engineering until its absorption into the Laboratory of Molecular Biology. He is a member of the Advisory Council for the Campaign for Science and Engineering.[15] Winter was appointed CBE in 1997, and further honoured as Knight Bachelor in 2004.

He has been a Fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge, for many years and in 2012 he was appointed to succeed Lord Rees of Ludlow OM, from July 2012, as Master of Trinity.[16][17]


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Academic offices
Preceded by
Martin Rees
Master of Trinity College, University of Cambridge