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Edwin Southern

Sir Edwin Southern
United Kingdom
InstitutionsUniversity of Oxford, University of Edinburgh
Known forInventor of the Southern blot
Notable prizesGairdner Foundation International Award (1990),
Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research (2005)

Professor Sir Edwin Mellor Southern, FRS (born 1938) [1] is a 2005 Lasker Award-winning molecular biologist. His award is for the invention of the Southern blot, now a common laboratory procedure, when he was working at the University of Edinburgh. Professor Southern is Professor of Biochemistry (Emeritus) at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Trinity College. He was made a Knight Bachelor in the June 2003 Birthday Honours for services to the development of DNA Microarray Technologies.

Southern is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of Oxford Gene Technology. He is also the founder and chairman of a Scottish charity, The Kirkhouse Trust, which aims to promote education and research in the Natural Sciences, particularly the biological and medical sciences. In addition the Edina Trust was founded to promote science in schools. These charities are financed using royalty income from licensing microarray technology.

Southern blot

The Southern blot is used for DNA analysis and was routinely used for genetic fingerprinting and paternity testing prior to the development of microsatellite markers for this purpose. The procedure is also frequently used to determine the number of copies of a gene in the genome. The concepts of the Southern blot were used in the development and creation of the modern microarray slide, which is a promising experimental tool. The northern blot is a similar procedure for RNA, playing off the Southern name. The western blot is a further pun on the Southern blot, but is an important research tool in protein detection.


In 1990 Southern was one of the winners of the Gairdner Foundation International Award.[2] In 1998 he was awarded the Royal Medal of the Royal Society of London.[3] In 2005 he was awarded the prostigious Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research,[1][4] jointly with Alec Jeffreys of the University of Leicester for his invention of the Southern blot.[5] In 2005 he was also awarded the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities Award for outstanding contributions to Biomolecular Technologies.[6]


  1. ^ a b Southern, Edwin (October 2005). "Tools for genomics". Nature Medicine: Commentary 11 (10) Retrieved on 19 December 2007.
  2. ^ List of winners. The Gairdner Foundation. Retrieved on 19 December 2007.
  3. ^ Royal recent winners. The Royal Society. Retrieved on 20 December 2007.
  4. ^ 2005 Albert Lasker Award - Acceptance remarks by Edwin Southern. Lasker Foundation. Retrieved on 19 December 2007.
  5. ^ 2005 Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research. Lasker Foundation. Retrieved on 19 December 2007.
  6. ^ ABRF Award. Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities. Retrieved on 19 December 2007.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Edwin_Southern". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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