Congratulations to Nobel Laureates John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka

09 October 2012

The stem cell research community worldwide has enthusiastically welcomed the news that the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology has been awarded to John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka. 

Over forty years ago, Gurdon showed that cells from specialized tissues were still fully capable of returning back to the embryonic state and giving rise to all the tissues of the body, through the process of cloning. 

This research provided the conceptual framework that led to Yamanaka’s seminal breakthrough in 2006, in which he devised a simple and effective means for reprogramming adult cells back to the embryonic state in the laboratory.  Yamanaka called his technique the induction of pluripotency through the use of defined molecular factors. 

These discoveries have paved the way for a revolution in biomedical research and regenerative medicine.  The findings have enabled the generation of stem cell lines to study human gene function in health and disease, and to discover new medicine.  

They have led to the production of banks of stem cell lines that are closely matched genetically to individual patients,  thus greatly reducing the risk of immune rejection of stem cell derived transplants.

More information:
Announcement of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology - The Nobel Assemblyy at Karolinska Institutet press release  (8 October 2012)

Cloning and stem cell Nobel for Gurdon and Yamanaka NEW SCIENTIST (8 October 2012)
Nobel Prize for medicine ABC RADIO NATIONAL BREAKFAST (download audio featuring interview with Nadia Rosenthal - 9 October 2012)
A win for basic science as stem cell researchers awarded Nobel prize THE CONVERSATION (9 October 2012)
Stem cell researchers John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka honoured with Nobel prize HERALD SUN (9 October 2012)
Visionary waited for cloning theory to hatch AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW (9 October 2012)