Greg Winter

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For the American journalist, see Greg Winter (journalist).
Sir Greg Winter
Gregory Winter in the Master's Garden at Trinity College by Aga Machaj .jpg
Gregory Winter in the Master's Garden ©Aga Machaj
Born Gregory Paul Winter
(1951-04-14) 14 April 1951 (age 65)[1]
Residence Cambridge, UK
Fields Biochemistry
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge
Thesis The amino acid sequence of tryptophanyl tRNA synthetase from Bacillus stearothermophilus (1977)
Doctoral advisor
Known for
Notable awards

Sir Gregory Paul 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.[4] 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.[1][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

He is a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge and was installed as the Master of Trinity on 2 October 2012.[16] 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.[17]


Winter was educated at the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle.[1] He went on to study Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1973. He was awarded a PhD for research on the amino acid sequence of tryptophanyl tRNA synthetase from the bacterium Bacillus stearothermophilus in 1977.


Following his PhD, Winter completed postdoctoral research at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.[18]

Winter founded Cambridge Antibody Technology in 1989, and Bicycle Therapeutics.[19][20] He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Covagen, [21][22] and is also the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board for Biosceptre International Limited.

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,[23] which achieved annual sales exceeding $1bn[24]- see Pharmaceutical drug#Other/related topics. Cambridge Antibody Technology was acquired by Astrazeneca in 2006 for £702m.[25]

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 GlaxoSmithKline in December 2006 for £230 million.[26]

Winter subsequently founded another company, Bicycle Therapeutics Limited as a start up company which is developing very small protein mimics based on a covalently bonded hydrophobic core.[27]

Awards and honours[edit]

Winter was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1990[3] 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".[28] 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,[29] 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.[30] Winter was appointed CBE in 1997 and Knight Bachelor in 2004. He is currently Master of Trinity.[31][32]


  1. ^ a b c WINTER, Sir Gregory (Paul). Who's Who. 2016 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Greg Winter, PhD". Archived from the original on 2015-12-30. 
  3. ^ a b "Sir Gregory Winter CBE FMedSci FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. 
  4. ^ McCafferty, J.; Griffiths, A.; Winter, G.; Chiswell, D. (1990). "Phage antibodies: filamentous phage displaying antibody variable domains". Nature. 348 (6301): 552–554. Bibcode:1990Natur.348..552M. doi:10.1038/348552a0. PMID 2247164. 
  5. ^ Anon (2011). "The inventor of humanized monoclonal antibodies and cofounder of Cambridge Antibody Technology, Greg Winter, muses on the future of antibody therapeutics and UK life science innovation". Nature Biotechnology. 29 (3): 190. doi:10.1038/nbt.1815. PMID 21390009. 
  6. ^ Winter, G.; Fields, S.; Brownlee, G. G. (1981). "Nucleotide sequence of the haemagglutinin gene of a human influenza virus H1 subtype". Nature. 292 (5818): 72–5. doi:10.1038/292072a0. PMID 7278968. 
  7. ^ Fields, S.; Winter, G.; Brownlee, G. G. (1981). "Structure of the neuraminidase gene in human influenza virus A/PR/8/34". Nature. 290 (5803): 213–7. doi:10.1038/290213a0. PMID 7010182. 
  8. ^ Riechmann, L.; Clark, M.; Waldmann, H.; Winter, G. (1988). "Reshaping human antibodies for therapy". Nature. 332 (6162): 323–7. doi:10.1038/332323a0. PMID 3127726. 
  9. ^ Marks, J. D.; Hoogenboom, H. R.; Bonnert, T. P.; McCafferty, J.; Griffiths, A. D.; Winter, G. (1991). "By-passing immunization". Journal of Molecular Biology. 222 (3): 581–97. doi:10.1016/0022-2836(91)90498-U. PMID 1748994. 
  10. ^ The Scientific Founders of Bicycle Therapeutics Ltd. – Christian Heinis and Sir Greg Winter, FRS.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Greg Winter's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier. (subscription required)
  13. ^ Winter, G; Griffiths, A. D.; Hawkins, R. E.; Hoogenboom, H. R. (1994). "Making antibodies by phage display technology". Annual Review of Immunology. 12: 433–55. doi:10.1146/annurev.iy.12.040194.002245. PMID 8011287. 
  14. ^ Griffiths, A. D.; Williams, S. C.; Hartley, O; Tomlinson, I. M.; Waterhouse, P; Crosby, W. L.; Kontermann, R. E.; Jones, P. T.; Low, N. M.; Allison, T. J. (1994). "Isolation of high affinity human antibodies directly from large synthetic repertoires". The EMBO Journal. 13 (14): 3245–60. PMC 395221free to read. PMID 8045255. 
  15. ^ Hoogenboom, H. R.; Griffiths, A. D.; Johnson, K. S.; Chiswell, D. J.; Hudson, P; Winter, G (1991). "Multi-subunit proteins on the surface of filamentous phage: Methodologies for displaying antibody (Fab) heavy and light chains". Nucleic Acids Research. 19 (15): 4133–7. doi:10.1093/nar/19.15.4133. PMC 328552free to read. PMID 1908075. 
  16. ^ Archived April 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ Archived January 29, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ "Scientific Advisory Board". Heptares. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  19. ^ Gregory Winter CBE, FRS, FMedSci, HonFRCP (2001-05-08). "Gregory Winter: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  20. ^ "". 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  21. ^ "Covagen AG | September 2011: Sir Gregory Winter joins Covagen's Scientific Advisory Board". 2011-09-20. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  22. ^ "Covagen AG | Scientific Advisory Board". Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  23. ^ Lawrence, S. (2007). "Billion dollar babies—biotech drugs as blockbusters". Nature Biotechnology. 25 (4): 380–2. doi:10.1038/nbt0407-380. PMID 17420735. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ Archived January 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  26. ^ GSK is to buy Domantis - a company based on discoveries by MRC scientists MRC Website
  27. ^ Heinis, C.; Rutherford, T.; Freund, S.; Winter, G. (2009). "Phage-encoded combinatorial chemical libraries based on bicyclic peptides". Nat Chem Biol. 5 (7): 502–507. doi:10.1038/nchembio.184. 
  28. ^ "Royal Society announces 2011 Copley Medal recipient". Royal Society. Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  29. ^ LMB Structure Archived February 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  30. ^ "Advisory Council of the Campaign for Science and Engineering". Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  31. ^ "Sir Gregory Winter CBE FRS appointed Master of Trinity College, Cambridge University". 2011-12-16. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  32. ^ "Master of Trinity College, Cambridge - News &amp' events - University of Cambridge". Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
Academic offices
Preceded by
Martin Rees
Master of Trinity College, University of Cambridge