Evans, Sir Martin John

Evans, Sir Martin John,

British geneticist, Ph.D., University College London, 1969. After serving on the faculty at University College London (1966–78) and Cambridge (1978–99), he became a professor at Cardiff Univ. in 1999. With Mario CapecchiCapecchi, Mario Renato,
1937–, American geneticist, b. Verona, Italy, Ph.D. Harvard, 1967. On the faculty at Harvard from 1967 to 1973, Capecchi became a professor at the Univ.
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 and Oliver SmithiesSmithies, Oliver,
1925–2017, American geneticist, b. Halifax, England, Ph.D., Oxford, 1951. Smithies was on the faculty at the Univ. of Toronto (1953–60) and Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison (1960–88) before becoming a professor at the Univ.
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, Evans received the 2007 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for developing gene targeting, a powerful technology that enables virtually unlimited modification of mouse DNA and has thereby laid the foundation for scientists to ascertain the roles played by individual genes in disease. Evans's critical contribution to the work was his discovery that early mouse embryos, now known as embryonic stem cellsstem cells,
unspecialized human or animal cells that can produce mature specialized body cells and at the same time replicate themselves. Embryonic stem cells are derived from a blastocyst (the blastula typical of placental mammals; see embryo), which is very young embryo that
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, could be used to establish the chromosomally normal cell cultures needed to carry out gene targeting.
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