Sir Martin John Evans, who was born in Stroud, on January 1, 1941, is a British geneticist, known for his discoveries on how to culture peak cells in 1981, his work on paralyzed mouse growth, and technology related to gene targeting. In 2007, Martin Evans won the Nobel Prize in medicine with Oliver Smithies and Mario Renato Capecchi for recognition of his gene targeting work.
Sir Martin John Evans won the B.A. in biochemistry from Christ’s College, University of Cambridge, in 1963. He received his M.A. in 1966, and D.Sc. in 1996. Subsequently, in 1969, he was awarded a Ph.D. from University College, London.
After graduating from Cambridge University, Sir Martin John Evans pursued genetic control of vertebrate growth. His first Ph.D. research led him to explore the use of rat teratocarcinoma stem cell culture in tissue culture systems. He was the first person to maintain these cells in tissue culture in which the cells were able to differentiate and endure to infinity.
Not until 1981, after returning to Cambridge, Sir Martin John Evans was able to isolate similar cells from normal mouse embryos. Then, he and his colleagues demonstrated that these cells, known as embryonic stem cells, could be fully used to regenerate fertile mixed mice from tissue culture cells, which could then cause mutations that were introduced, selected and filtered in the culture. Now, this is the basis of genetic manipulation.
These fundamental developments created new pathways in the genetics of experimental mammals and functional genomics. Since then, Martin Evans, who came to Cardiff University’s Faculty of Biotechnology in 1999, has exploited gene blows and gene trap methods for new discoveries, as well as creating animal fashions for human diseases.
In his laboratory, Sir Martin John Evans began the first demonstration of gene therapy to patch up deficiencies in cystic fibrosis in animals. And, now, the mouse model is mutated into the function of BRCA2, which is a breast cancer gene.
Martin Evans has published more than 120 scientific works. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1993 and founder of the Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
In 1993, Sir Martin John Evans was awarded the Walter Cottman Fellowship and William Bate Hardy Prizes. Not only that, he was also awarded the prestigious Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in the United States in 2001.
In 2002, Sir Martin John Evans was again awarded an honorary doctorate from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City, considered one of the world’s centers for medical and scientific training.
Sir Martin John Evans is also a member of Wales Gene Park – who has brought genetics, life sciences, and clinical experience from Wales to create new centers in national and international research, offering research facilities, education and commercial exploitation.
Sir Martin John Evans was awarded a knighthood in 2004 for his service in medical science. Furthermore, he is married, and has 3 children and 5 grandchildren.