Sir John Sulston, English pioneering researcher in genomics, 2002.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Dr Sulston (b 1942), former director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, established his name as a developmental biologist studying the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. His decision, that decoding the genetic material of the worm would be esential for developmental studies, helped to establish the principles on which the Human Genome Project was founded. All the genomic information from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is released freely onto the internet. Through establishing principles worked out on model organisms, automation of sequencing technology and improvements in that technology, the Institute finished the sequence of 35 million bases of human DNA in one month alone in 2001.