Professor Sir John Gurdon DPhil DSc FRS
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2012
The message board is now closed - very many thanks to all of our colleagues and friends from around the world for their kind words.
Newest messages at top...
Domenico Iuso, University of Teramo, Italy:
"I'm a young PhD, work in Nuclear transfer and love my work. Sir John Gurdon is a rockstar of Science. When I have known of Nobel Prize I was very happy. I was sure that the scientist world would have gone this prize to you Sir. Congratulation and Thanks!!! You are a fantastic example for us young people."
Jacqueline Jasek, World Book Encyclopedia:
"I am a science researcher at World Book Encyclopedia. I am updating your article, and I just wanted to say from all of us here at World Book...A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS on your Nobel Prize! Wow! I am looking forward to see what future endeavors become from what you first reported of your research in 1962. You are an incredible inspiration for scientists and everyone everywhere!"
Patricia Castillo-Briceno, IBDML, Marseille-France:
"First, to say Congratulations! and that was really encouraging to attend to your talk during the Xenopus meeting held in the South of France. Please continue spreading your experience and passion for science."
Daniel Brandt, Director Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs, Debiopharm S.A.:
"Dear Sir, I wanted to congratulate you for your Nobel Prize. I actually heard of you by Mikhail Fischberg, who was my PhD thesis supervisor at the University of Geneva. I vividly remember him saying with his strong Russian accent: " two outstanding searchers, Mr Gurdon and I.....". It was in 1972, when I started reading biology in Geneva. So, when I heard that a certain John Gurdon got the Nobel Prize, I checked whether it could be the one! And it was. I actually did my Diploma work on Xenopus with M. Fischberg's wife, Irandokth Hadji-Azimi. The world is a small place. My best wishes!"
Claudio Perez, PhD student, Facultad de Ciencias Agronůmicas, Universidad de Chile:
"Professor Gurdon congratulations, this award should serve many scientists hoping for many years working with great dedication to be recognized for the love of science. The report of 1949 that you maintain, represents scientists who are not afraid to experiment, to try new solutions. Not that I want to keep our teachers, but we still have the freedom that opens the door to the unknown."
"Here, opens the door to the unknown and begin the realms of hope. If your struggling here you find what you want, if you dream alone until thou come"
Kazuto Kato, Osaka University and Kyoto University, Japan:
"Many congratulations! As a former lab member of your group (in the same years as Emma Tiller who gave her message), I am very happy to see you in the nation-wide news in Japan together with Shinya Yamanaka. I also think about happy memories of the days I spent in your lab and conversations with you in the tea room of the Wellcome/CRC Institute! With very best wishes!!!"
Gary F. Clark, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO USA:
"Congratulations on winning the Nobel prize! I remember back in high school how stunned I was when I read about your now classical experiments performed in Xenopus. I am also very happy that, unlike Dr. Robert Edwards, you will be able to enjoy this honour completely. Your recent award is certainly a credit to science in the UK and to Cambridge University."
Natalia (Magda Zernicka Goetz's daughter), Cambridge:
"John well done from the middle of my heart on wining the Nodel prize. I feel so lucky I know you and that my Mum works in the same building! I really hope you read this as it would mean a lot to me for you to know how I feel. I wrote a poem for you when I first heard the news.
Your report from school,
Made you look like a fool.
But you've gone really far,
And became a big star.
You've made huge success,
Your teacher wouldn't have guessed.
Frogs have helped you through,
And so have all your crew.
Now more fool them, then you!"
Jose Xavier Neto, Brazilian Biosciences National Laboratory - CNPEM:
"We wish to express our congratulations on behalf of the Latin American Society of Developmental Biology (LASDB) for a deserved recognition of your brilliant work. We are especially grateful for the support that you have given to the science in our region, and for how you have been always available to support and participate in our activities."
Jose Xavier Neto. Brazilian Biosciences National Laboratory - CNPEM/ President LASDB
Mario Zurita. Institute of Biotechnology - National University of Mexico/ Past-President LASDB
Roberto Mayor. University College London/ Past-President LASDB
Rashmi Tripathi, PhD, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge:
"Heartiest congratulations on receiving the Nobel prize. You have been an inspirational model for many young aspiring scientists like myself to keep trying and progressing inspite of all odds. You very kindly accepted my invitation to take part in the Sanger-Cambridge Ph.D. symposium way back in 2006-2007, and spoke to us about your very exciting work then, thank you for your enthusiasm shared at that time! I hope you will continue to engage with young scientists and inspire them to achieve the best in the future!"
Emma Tiller, Northlands Primary School, Rugby:
"Many congratulations! Hearing about your work and seeing film clips of you talking during this week has brought back happy memories of working with you 20 years ago, and you seem just the same! I have been interested in what you said about your science teacher at school, and it makes me all the more determined to encourage the young people I work with to love science, and I will certainly be using you and your story to inspire them! Thank you!"
Tanya Gottlieb, BiondVax in Israel:
"Congratulations! It was a pleasure and privilege to be taught by you. You are an inspiring role model."
Yash Pal Singh, University of Delhi, India:
"Its a pleasure to see a Nobel prize going to the area which fascinates me always.... Many-many congratulations Sir... "
Eduardo Romero-Vecchione MD PhD, Lab. Estudios Cardiovasculares, Escuela de Medicina JM Vargas, Universidad Central de Venezuela. Caracas. Venezuela:
"My sincere congratulations for the Nobel Prize 2012 distinction you obtained. Well deserved. By the time you did your remarkable experiment with Xenopus leavis cloning I was graduated in medicine (1968) and your experiment remained in my memory and was motive for chat with fellows and imagination of ways to be applied. Thereafter I went to Oxford University and did my DPhil with Professor David Smith in the Dept of Pharmacology (1981). "
Mohammad Afzal and Lab members, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India:
"Heartiest congratulations for a coveted award you long deserved. Was impressed by your introduction to the subject in colloquium in India."
Surendra Ghaskadbi, Agharkar research Institute, Pune, India:
"Heartiest congratulations, John, on behalf of all the developmental biologists in India. The students in Pune are thrilled at this news."
Elias Acaf, Louis Pasteur University:
"i am happy Dr. Gurdon for you ! you deserve it and Cambridge also deserve it ! i am a beginner Ph.D. student and i hope to become like you one day !"
Renata Basto, Institut Curie:
"Dear John, I waited a few days, as I can imagine that you have received many messages. What can I say? Congratulations and thank you for everything and for having made the Gurdon Institute what the Gurdon Institute is today. I learned a lot and my experience there will stay forever..."
Emlyn Parfitt, Columbia University:
"My warmest wishes and congratulations on this fantastic achievement, and the countless others that have led to it. It is rare that someone is as brilliant as John. It is even rarer that someone as brilliant is so humble, generous and warm spirited. He is exemplary."
Gabriele, UCLA HHMI:
"You are the best and an inspiration for all of us! Congratulations and very best wishes!!!"
Brian Cox, University of Kent at Canterbury:
"I can't tell you how delighted I was at the news of your Nobel. Long overdue, in my opinion. I can think of very few who have deserved it more. I don't suppose that I'm the only person that keeps a little mental list of people that I feel should get the prize, a list which is resurrected every time the Nobels are announced and tut-tutted over. You have been on my list for decades and I'm glad that at last someone has woken up to the fact that you not only established the paradigm of the inheritance of totipotency during differentiation on which all development studies since have been founded, but designed the beautiful experiment which has, with minor modifications, made it possible to link molecular biology to classical developmental studies. I didn't go to many of our colleagues' lectures when I was at Oxford, but I remember yours from over forty years ago with delight. I even recall some of the information they contained, which is more than I can say for some of mine.
I hope you are well and active. I can't imagine you ever wanting to retire from the lab., but I suppose you have aged like all of us: I just hope age is treating you well."
Jo-Anne Johnson, Gurdon Lab:
"Many many congratulations on this absolutely fantastic news. Every October the lab is on tenterhooks and at last it has happened! I think we should go on a lab go-karting outing to celebrate!"
Maria Ines Vera, Dean of the School of Biological Sciences, Universidad Andres Bello, Chile:
"On behalf of myself and the academics of the School of Biological Sciences, we want to extend our most sincere congratulations for the great honor of receiving this well-deserved Nobel Prize. For the world's scientific community is a major milestone that the Academy has recognized the tremendous advances in developmental biology and cell differentiation from the contributions you made from many years ago."
Prasad Chikte, Institute For Genetics, Johannes Gutenberg University:
"Heartiest Congratulations for Nobel Prize in Medicine 2012. You have and are working for pioneering of medical science and stem cell biology. Thank you so much for giving cloning to this world. Congratulations again."
Michael Radunsky, Parkinson's patient, San Diego:
"Your work is inspirational and provides hope to many Parkinson's patients and others suffering from diseases that may some day be cured or relieved by induced pluripotent stem cells. Thank you."
Matthias Romauch, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, KFU-Graz, Austria:
"I was seriously thrilled when hearing that the Nobel prize was awarded to you this year! What an overwhelming and scientifically important event!! I am very grateful that, when doing my research work in Magda`s Lab, I had the possibility to get to know you. Lucky me - I could spend a lot of time in your Lab, thereby following up (entertaining) discussions and enjoying an inspiring working atmosphere. Seriously, you are one of the very few group leaders I got to know, I regularly met during weekends! For sure I remember the time at the Gurdon Institute as one of the best and for my scientific thinking most important times. I wish you the very very best and congratulations on this great success."
ioanna, Brussels (cambridge fellow):
"You are an inspiration."
Lucy Fowler, Teacher's College - Lakehead University (Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada):
"I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Sir John for this amazing achievement. You have made such a difference in so many lives and it is a well-deserved honour."
Mark Hill PhD, Editor, UNSW Embryology, University of New South Wales:
"Congratulations on your well deserved Nobel Prize award. Your ongoing embryology findings and as an advocate for development research has been an inspiration for many students and researchers. Your classic studies are used as examples in our current undergraduate embryology courses and in online embryology education."
Julio Cesar de Oliveira MD, Plastic Surgery, Faculdade Atenas, Paracatu-MG / Brazil:
"Congratulations and Best Wishes from Brazil."
Jorge and Catherine Allende, Universidad de Chile, Santiago:
"Dear John: we were overjoyed by the news of your much deserved Nobel Prize. We hope that you can visit us in Chile one more time. All the best to you and family, Jorge and Cathy."
"Hi, John! Yesterday I saw you were mentioned on the Russian analogue of the Jonathan Ross or David Letterman Show called VECHERNIJ URGANT @urgantshow on Twitter. They said that you were awarded with Nobel Prize. I was so proud that I am currently working at your Institute, although on temporary basis and not in the lab. Anyway, congs and respect to you, Sir John."
Candace Giddens, Louisiana:
"Wonderful!! And I absolutely LOVE the fact that you posted that evaluation! When I was in Nursing School (a Million years ago), I was told that my high test scores and above average IQ test score were not reflective of my intelligence, but that I "test well"."
Ron Hill, Chief Research Scientist in CSIRO Animal, Food and health Sciences:
"Heartiest congratulations John on the award of the Nobel Prize for your fundamental research which has had so many ramifications. It is wonderful to see recognition for basic research that overcame considerable technical barriers and that is still of central relevance to biology over half a century later. Perhaps your school master did you a service by providing a challenge. I look forward to your Nobel Oration; it will be really something to inspire the next generation."
Roberto B. Garcia, MD, IVF Laboratory, CEM, Montevideo, Uruguay:
"Congratulations to Sir John! I did remember him from his visit to the Cell Biology Dept. at the Instituto Clemente Estable, here in Montevideo, during the mid 1970's. Despite he was preceded by the prestige earned by his elegant experiments on nuclear transplants and we were eager to listen him lecturing, what impressed me most was his genuine interest to know what we were doing in our lab. No doubt, the kind of humble attitude only the greatest truly show!"
Esther Malenka, Beilinson davidoff petach tikva Israel:
"Congratulation. It is always great to know that the Nobel prize is given to people who dedicated their life to science and in process taught us how our body works. Again congratulation."
Michael Winterbottom, Corpus Christi College, Oxford:
"John, I don't know if you remember me from the long ago days when we were both research lecturers at the House. I recall you going in to see to your frogs even on Christmas Day; but I was not to know what it was leading to. It was a pleasure to know you then, and I've watched your career with high admiration ever since: culminating in this latest wonderful achievement. Many many congratulations! Every good wish, Michael Winterbottom"
Dr Channesh, T.S, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore INDIA:
"Congratulations Sir, We from India respect your love and dedication to developmental Biology. Great Sir. CONGRATS"
Mangilal Chouhan, PhD Scholar, NIPER, Mohali, India:
"On behalf of all the students of NIPER, Please accept our heartiest congratulation for your breakthrough research work. It will always inspire us your contribution to develop and nurture the science."
Tiziana Rambelli, Chief of Press Office, Morgagni-Pierantoni Hospital, Forli, Italy:
"Congratulations and very best wishes for the Nobel Prize! I am a humble scientific journalist but I firmly believe in the communication of the science and the public health and from years I try to communicate the search as a mission. Compliments, its discovery gives the future. Thank You.... "Fatti non foste per viver come bruti ma per seguir virtude e canoscenza" (Dante Alighieri)"
Baoping Tian, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China:
"Sir John B. Gurdon, Congratulations on your winning the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. On internet, is said that you were considered not to be an excellent student by your teacher? "I believe Gurdon has ideas about becoming a scientist; on his present showing this is quite ridiculous; if he can?t learn simple biological facts he would have no chance of doing the work of a specialist, and it would be a sheer waste of time, both on his part and of those who would have to teach him."? So,could tell me is it a fact or a fable? Best wishes!"
(Editor's note: I'm sure John must cringe every time he sees it now, but yes, it's true: http://www.gurdon.cam.ac.uk/jbg-report.html)
Magdalena Koziol, Yale:
"John's work is just beautiful, elegant, so crisp and clear, tackling always the most important questions in biology. But not only that, he is also the most wonderful, warm, modest, and kindest person I have ever meet, with such a wonderful humor. He is without a doubt the most outstanding person I have ever meet, and it is terrific news that such an outstanding person has been awarded the most distinguished price in science. Congratulations!"
Karthikeyan, South India:
"We read the news and astonished for the Nobel prize winner of your esteemed team member Mr.John Gurdon. Convey my best regards to him. Trust my wishes would reach him..."
Ken Drury PhD, Editor, Journal of Clinical Embryology (Gainesville, Florida):
"It is with the deepest pleasure that I congratulate you for your accomplishments which now (finally) have resulted in your being awarded the Noble Prize! I performed my graduate studies in Geneva under Prof. Michail Fischberg and Sabine Schoderet-Slatkine on MPF (in the '70s) and of course learned nuclear transplantation but was always in awe of the work going on in your lab in Cambridge. There was a sign on a refrigerator at the institute saying "Beat Gurdon!" - not sure exactly what it meant but I know we never did. Fischberg would be very proud! I later made my way into IVF where everyday I was confronted with the oldest story - "from one cell becomes many and they make us". Enjoy the cumulative moments with your friends and colleagues."
Jeremy Friend-Smith, Ely:
"Many congratulations. I have followed your career at a distance since I shared digs at 3 Canterbury Road, while we were students at Oxford in about 1957. The particular thing I recall is the botanical paintings you made, no doubt as a form of relaxation from your main work. Flowers were portrayed with great care, so that each petal, each nuance of shading was exact. I am sure this meticulous eye for detail has been at the heart of your research successes. Obviously I had no idea how things would develop. I heard of this latest honour "long overdue" last night from one of your colleagues. You won't remember me, but I am delighted to add my good wishes."
Philip Grant, NIH:
"Congratulations, John-You certainly deserve it. At the time, we in the Briggs and King lab were surprised and excited by your results. You succeeded with the "proof of concept" experiment and a new world opened. Who could have predicted at the time that it would be confirmed fifty years later with an experiment in Japan involving a few genes and a cell line. Once again, I cry out-Congratulations!"
Melton Lab, USA:
"Our entire lab joins in congratulating and celebrating this most deserved award! We raise a glass to you from across the Atlantic. Long live the Gurdon Institute. Congratulations, Sir John."
Professor Roberto Colombo, University of Milan:
"........at last ! Finally the Nobel Prize is arrived !!!! I'm very happy. Really ! You deserve it. You have been always one of my myths. During 1978/1979 I was in Warwick University (in the lab of Hugh Woodland) and I met you at the Meeting of Developmental Biology that was kept in Exeter. I remember that you caught up with the social diner by your racing cycle. REAL GREAT !!!! I still keep the photo of your bike and I show it to students during my lessons. Congratulations again !!! P.S. - I apologize for my english which is quite rusty."
Hsin-jung Lee, Taiwan:
"Congratulations, Dr Gurdon! I was really touched when I read the BBC news last night, especially the part about your persistence in science even though your biology teacher had considered your scientific ambitions "a waste of time." Your hard work and persistence gave the world a precious gift - a breakthrough in medicine. Thank you for your contribution and inspiration."
Dr Robert Peers MBBS [Melb], General Practitioner in Melbourne, Australia:
"Dear Sir John, You look pretty good for your age: do you eat PORRIDGE??!!
Oats, grains, legumes, nuts and citrus all contain myo-inositol, a glucose isomer that I have identified as a specific anti-ageing nutraceutical. It inhibits IGF-1/PI3K signalling, which means anti-ageing, enhanced cellular energy, slightly slower growth, and also enhanced re-programming of iPS cells! Inositol also has the ability to enhance cardiac energy in heart failure, and to clear aggregated proteins in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Its anti-ageing effects may include enhanced p21 and p27 levels [and mitochondrial biogenesis] in stem and progenitor cells. So I hope my guess is right--does Sir John eat porridge?! Best Regards, and of course Congratulations!"
(Editor's note: McVitie's Ginger Nuts now, apparently, but arguably he did his most important work with Rich Tea Biscuits...)
Roberto Mayor, University College London:
"My warmest congratulation for the Nobel Prize; a more than deserved recognition."
Professor Soraya Shirazi-Beechey, University of Liverpool:
"Wholehearted congratulations. Delighted to hear the wonderful news of the Nobel Prize awarded to you, a great scientist and a wonderful person. I hope you remember me; we met in Lausanne at the Nestle meeting and had a wonderful discussion."
Tim Mohun, MRC National Institute for Medical Research:
"Many congratulations on a long overdue honour. At 50 years after the initial experiments, I guess nobody can accuse the committee of rushing to judgement! "
Vincent Pasque, Gurdon Lab, now at The University of California Los Angeles:
"Many congratulations on winning this year?s Nobel Prize!!!! A well deserved recognition of your outstanding work!!! I feel deeply honoured and very privileged to have had you as a mentor, and very much look forward to seeing you in San Francisco in two weeks! "
Berenika Plusa, University of Manchester:
"The best possible news! Congratulations and Best Wishes from the whole dev biol section in Manchester."
Pascal Barone, INSERM Tours FRANCE:
"Congratulations from a frogg!"
Michael Thain, St Paul's School:
"I was delighted this morning to learn of your Nobel award, and have taken due note of the way we teachers can get this so utterly wrong! I remember your lectures for zoologists at Oxford.
You kindly gave two talks at Harrow School while I was there. I especially remember the first, back in the 70s, as a model of clarity and enlightenment.
May I just say how thoroughly deserved this award is. It could not have happened to a nicer man. I wish you and your family every happiness."
Professor Colin R. Green, University of Auckland, New Zealand:
"I am not sure if you will remember me working in collaboration with Anne Warner at UCL between 1985 and 1992. I remember you very well coming down to do oocyte injections with Anne, and of course your published work. Congratulations on the well deserved Nobel Prize ? wow! Fantastic achievement and although Anne is no longer with us I am sure she would have approved heartily too! Congratulations!"
Janet E. Mertz, Wisconsin (Postdoc in Gurdon lab, 1975-1976):
"Congratulations on receiving a Nobel :-) Enjoy the long-overdue honor."
Jacques Cohen, Embryos.net:
"Congratulations on your Nobel Prize. It is absolutely wonderful news. My colleagues and I are delighted. I think it was worth the wait! Bob Edwards who won the 2010 Nobel waited 32 years between the published discovery and the award. At that time we looked into that little fact and found it to be the longest wait. You have broken this record by 18 years! You think this has something to do with the subject matter?
You probably don't remember me, but we met on a few occasions. I took over Bob's position at Bourn Hall Clinic when he decided to focus on academic matters and again took over from him as editor of Reproductive Biomedicine Online when he became ill a few years ago.
It was a pleasure attending the Nobel proceedings in Stockholm in December 2010. I know you will have a great time. I wish you, your colleagues and your family well."
Horst Grunz, Germany:
"Hi John, warmest gratulation for the nobelprize. It is a pleasure that again a Developmental Biologist earned this prize."
Roel Nusse, Stanford:
"John, many congratulations on getting the Nobel Prize, a splendid honor so very well deserved."
Nina Dathan, Tim's (mainly actin sequencing) technician from the Zoology Dept. (1983-4):
"Sincere congratulations on your win after many, many years of excellent research! Best Wishes from Nina"
Nigel Messenger, Smith Lab:
"Many congratulations on your Nobel Prize John, a fantastic achievement and well deserved."