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Paul Nurse

Sir Paul M. Nurse, FRS, (b. January 25, 1949) is a British biochemist. He was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Leland H. Hartwell and R. Timothy Hunt for their discoveries regarding cell cycle regulation by cyclin and cyclin dependent kinases.

Nurse's parents came from Norfolk. He was born and raised in Wembley, in north-west London, and was educated at Harrow County Grammar School for Boys. He received his undergraduate degree in 1970 from the University of Birmingham and his PhD in 1973 from the University of East Anglia. Beginning in 1976, Nurse identified the gene cdc2 in yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe). This gene controls the progression of the cell cycle from G1 phase to S phase and the transition from G2 phase to mitosis. In 1987, Nurse identified the homologous gene in human, CDK1, which codes for a cyclin dependent kinase.

In 1984, Nurse joined the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF, now named the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute). He left in 1988 to chair the department of microbiology at the University of Oxford. He then returned to the ICRF as Director of Research in 1993, and in 1996 was named Director General of the ICRF, which became the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute in 2002. In 2003, he became president of Rockefeller University in New York City where he continues to work on the cell cycle of fission yeast.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, Nurse has received numerous awards and honours. In 1989, he became a fellow of the Royal Society and in 1995 he received a Royal Medal and became a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He received the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 1998. Nurse was knighted in 1999. He was awarded the French Legion d'Honneur in 2002. He was also awarded the Copley Medal in 2005. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences one of the top honours in April 2006.


  • Nurse, Paul (2004). The Great Ideas Of Biology: The Romanes Lecture For 2003. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-951897-1. 
  • Les Prix Nobel. 2002. The Nobel Prizes 2001, Editor Tore Frängsmyr. Nobel Foundation: Stockholm.
  • Paul Nurse in the news
    • British Scientists (inc. Paul Nurse) scoop 2001 Nobel Prize
    • Paul Nurse: Genetic identity cards for newborn children within 20 years
  • Lectures and publications
    • Sir Paul Nurse – Nobel Lecture: Controlling the Cell Cycle
    • Paul Nurse scientific publications from PubMed
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Paul_Nurse". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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