Richard Gardner (scientist)

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Sir Richard Lavenham Gardner FIAT(Hon), FRSB, FRS is a British embryologist and geneticist. He is currently an Emeritus Professor at the University of York,[1] and was previously a Royal Society Research Professor. Since 1982 he has been Chair of the Royal Society Working Group on human embryo research, stem cells and cloning. He was the President of the Institute of Biology from 2006 to 2008, President of the Institute of Animal Biotechnology from 1986 to 2006 and is currently Chair of Trustees of the Animals in Science – Education Trust.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Richard Gardner was born in Dorking, Surrey, England on 10 June 1943. His father, a professional artist specialising in stained glass, was killed a few weeks later during the landings on Sicily. Gardner studied Natural Sciences at St Catharine's College, Cambridge before doing a PhD in the University's Physiology Department with Nobel Laureate, Robert Edwards. In 1973 he was appointed to a University Lectureship at Oxford where, from 1978 until his retirement in 2008, he held a Royal Society Research Professorship.

Scientific career[edit]

Gardner pioneered the transplantation of cells and tissues between blastocyst stage mouse embryos and their reconstruction from their component tissues. He was the first to apply clonal analysis to study cell fate and potency in mammals,[3] and used this strategy to provide conclusive evidence against early segregation of the mammalian germline.[4] Blastocyst injection was later adopted almost universally for assessing the developmental potential of embryonic stem (ES) cells and their competence to colonise the germline following genetic modification. With Robert Edwards, he also established proof of principle for preimplantation genetic diagnosis.[5] His main research interests include investigating the fate and deployment of cells in early mammalian development with particular emphasis on clonal analysis,[6][7] establishing the origin and efficient derivation of stem cells from early embryos,[8] and determining the extent to which pre-patterning normally directs early development in mammals.[9][10]

For many years Gardner chaired the Royal Society's ad hoc committee on 'human embryo research', and later its working group on 'stem cells and cloning'[5] and in this role he often advised on the scientific and ethical implications of cloning, attempting to clarify the complexities of the topic for a public audience.[3] He served as President of the Institute of Animal Technology from 1986 to 2006 and the Institute of Biology (now the Royal Society of Biology) from 2006 to 2008. He is a trustee of the Edwards and Steptoe Research Trust and chair of the Animals in Science Education Trust.

He gave the Cumberland Lodge Annual Lecture in 2010, and the British Fertility Society's Patrick Steptoe Memorial Lecture in 2015.

Selected publications[edit]

Awards and honours[edit]


  1. ^ "Gardner, Professor Sir Richard – Biology, The University of York". University of York. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Animals in Science Education Trust". Animals in Science Education Trust. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b "BBC – Search results for professor richard gardner". BBC. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b "ZSL Scientific Medal Winners" (PDF). Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Richard Gardner". Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Previous Recipients – March of Dimes". 13 February 2009. Archived from the original on 13 February 2009. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Award winners". Google. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Académie royale de Belgique". Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Knights Bachelor" (PDF). BBC. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Honorary Degrees 2012 nominations announced". University of Cambridge. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Previous Recipients – March of Dimes". 13 February 2009. Archived from the original on 13 February 2009. Retrieved 1 October 2017.

External links[edit]