Honorary members

Oliver Smithies

Oliver Smithies

Oliver Smithies (born June 23 1925) is a British-born American geneticist and Nobel Prize laureate in Physiology and Medicine in 2007, for the discovery of principles of introducing specific gene modifications in mice using embryonic stem cells.

Smithies was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. He has said that his love of science comes from an early fascination with radios and telescopes. He received a MA in 1951 and a DPhil in Biochemistry. From 1953 to 1960 Smithies was an associate research faculty member in the Connaught Medical Research Laboratory at the University of Toronto in Canada, from 1960 to 1988 he worked in the laboratories of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Since 1988, Smithies has been designated an Excellence Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of North Carolina. Along with gel electrophoresis, he developed gene targeting, a method of generating mice with more human-like characteristics for use in research.

He and Mario Capecchi both came to the same discoveries regarding gene targeting independently.

"I look sadly at people who become exposed to harmful drugs. It’s a great shame. It's the duty of all adults to help younger generations and to prevent their access to drugs. Any rational person would support the idea of the "MayaPlanet" project".