|Sir Ian Wilmut|
7 July 1944 |
Hampton Lucy, England
|Institutions||The Roslin Institute|
|Alma mater||University of Nottingham
University of Cambridge
|Thesis||The preservation of boar semen (1971)|
|Doctoral advisor||Christopher Polge|
|Known for||Cloning sheep|
|Notable awards||OBE, FRS, FMedSci, FRSE, 1997 Time man of the year runner up |
Sir Ian Wilmut, OBE FRS FMedSci FRSE (born 7 July 1944) is an English embryologist and Chair of the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine  at the University of Edinburgh. He is best known as the leader of the research group that in 1996 first cloned a mammal from an adult somatic cell, a Finnish Dorset lamb named Dolly. He was granted an OBE in 1999 for services to embryo development. In December 2007 it was announced that he would be knighted in the 2008 New Year Honours.
Early life and career
Wilmut was born in Hampton Lucy, Warwickshire, England. Wilmut's father, Leonard Wilmut, was a mathematics teacher who suffered from diabetes for fifty years eventually causing blindness. He was a student of the former Boys' High School, in Scarborough, where his father taught. Wilmut's early desire was to embark on a naval career, but he was unable to do so due to his colour blindness. As a school boy, Wilmut worked as a farm hand on weekends, which inspired him to study Agriculture at the University of Nottingham.
In 1966 Wilmut spent 8 weeks working in the laboratory of Christopher Polge, who is credited with developing the technique of cryopreservation in 1949. The following year, Wilmut joined Polge's laboratory to undertake a research Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge (Darwin College), from which he graduated in 1971. Wilmut has since been involved in research focusing on gametes and embryogenesis including working at the Roslin Institute. In 1998 he received the Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran Award.
Wilmut was the leader of the research group that in 1996 first cloned a mammal, a lamb named Dolly. Dolly died of a respiratory disease in 2003. However, in 2008 Wilmut announced that he is to abandon the technique of somatic cell nuclear transfer by which Dolly was created in favour of an alternative technique developed by Shinya Yamanaka. This method has been used in mice to derive pluripotent stem cells from differentiated adult skin cells, thus circumventing the need to generate embryonic stem cells. Wilmut believes that this method holds greater potential for the treatment of degenerative conditions such as Parkinson's disease and to treat stroke and heart attack patients.
Wilmut led the team that created Dolly but credits his colleague Keith Campbell with "66 per cent" of the invention that made Dolly's birth possible. This supervisory role is consistent with the post of principal investigator held by Wilmut at the time of Dolly's creation.
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- Campbell, K. H. S.; McWhir, J.; Ritchie, W. A.; Wilmut, I. (1996). "Sheep cloned by nuclear transfer from a cultured cell line". Nature 380 (6569): 64–66. doi:10.1038/380064a0. PMID 8598906.
- Schnieke, A. E.; Kind, A. J.; Ritchie, W. A.; Mycock, K.; Scott, A. R.; Ritchie, M.; Wilmut, I.; Colman, A.; Campbell, K. H. (1997). "Human Factor IX Transgenic Sheep Produced by Transfer of Nuclei from Transfected Fetal Fibroblasts". Science 278 (5346): 2130–2133. doi:10.1126/science.278.5346.2130. PMID 9405350.
- "The Third Culture: Ian Wilmut". Edge.org. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- Giles, J.; Knight, J. (2003). "Dolly's death leaves researchers woolly on clone ageing issue". Nature 421 (6925): 776. doi:10.1038/421776a.
- "Times Higher Education: Queen's Birthday Honours". Times Higher Education. 18 June 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
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- "Biographical Notes". The Shaw Prize. 9 September 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- Berry, S. (2001). "Profile – Ian Wilmut". Trends in Biotechnology 19 (12): 525–526. doi:10.1016/S0167-7799(01)01842-X.
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- Rall, W. (2007). "Ernest John Christopher Polge FRS (1926–2006)". Cryobiology 54 (3): 241–242. doi:10.1016/j.cryobiol.2007.04.001.
- Wilmut, Ian (1971). The preservation of boar semen (DPhil thesis). University of Cambridge.
- Wilmut, I.; Beaujean, N.; De Sousa, P. A.; Dinnyes, A.; King, T. J.; Paterson, L. A.; Wells, D. N.; Young, L. E. (2002). "Somatic cell nuclear transfer". Nature 419 (6709): 583–586. doi:10.1038/nature01079. PMID 12374931.
- Highfield, Roger (16 November 2007). "Dolly creator Prof Ian Wilmut shuns cloning". The Sunday Times. Archived from the original on 2 December 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2007.
- Cramb, Auslan (8 March 2006). "I didn't clone Dolly the sheep says prof". The Telegraph. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- "MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine".
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