to Deliver Keynote Speech at ISMB 2003
one of three recipients of the 2002 Nobel Prize in medicine, will
deliver a keynote speech at ISMB2003. Brenner, a distinguished professor
at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and founder of the
Molecular Sciences Institute, was honored for his contributions
toward discoveries about how genes regulate organ growth and the
process of programmed cell death.
that the tiny transparent worm C. elegans was useful for
studying how cells specialize and organs develop. His work ``laid
the foundation for this year's prize,'' the awards committee said.
During his distinguished
career, Brenner also demonstrated that a chemical could produce
specific genetic mutations in the worm, allowing different mutations
to be linked to specific effects on organ development. The work
of Brenner and this years Nobel laureates in medicine has
implications for understanding a range of diseases, including cancer,
AIDS, strokes and neurodegenerative diseases.
Brenner has made remarkable contributions throughout his career
to our understanding of biology and medicine, said Richard
Murphy, president and CEO of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
He was responsible for uncovering the basic principles of
how DNA instructs cells to make proteins and he was the first to
sequence the genome of an entire multi-cellular organism (the worm
C. Elegans), work that set the stage for understanding the
field of cell death, which is critical to our understanding of many
diseases, including cancer and degenerative diseases of the brain.
His work also provided the foundation for the subsequent sequencing
of the human genome. Sydney is a true visionary and one of the most
important biologists of our time. He is well deserving of this honor."
In the early
1960s, Brenner established the existence of messenger RNA, or mRNA,
which can be translated into proteins, and demonstrated that the
nucleotide sequence of mRNA determines the order of amino acids
in proteins. For these discoveries in 1971, Brenner received his
first Lasker Award, sometimes referred to as Americas
Nobels, in Basic Medical Research. He received a second Lasker
Award in 2000.
Among his other
notable advances, Brenner with Salk Institute Distinguished
Professor Francis Crickproposed that a single amino acid is
coded by three nucleotides, a triplet, of RNA.
Born in 1927
in Germiston, South Africa, Brenner was awarded degrees in medicine
and science in 1947 from the University of Witwatersand in Johannesburg.
He subsequently moved to England where, in 1954, he received a D.Phil.
in chemistry from Oxford University. In 1957, Brenner joined the
Medical Research Council in Cambridge, England. There, he became
director of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and the Molecular
Brenner served as a non-resident fellow at the Salk Institute; from
1989-1991, he was a scholar-in-residence at the Scripps Research
Institute. In 1996, Brenner became president and director of science
at the Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley, Calif.
received numerous awards, including the Gairdner Foundation International
Award, the Krebs Medal, the Croonian Medal, the Harvey Prize, the
Waterford Bio-Medical Science Award, the Kyoto Prize, the King Faisal
International Prize for Science, and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award
for Distinguished Achievement in the Neuroscience Research. He is
a member of the Royal Society of London, is a foreign associate
of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and is an adjunct professor
of biology at the University of California, San Diego.