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William A Harris - Waddington Medal lecture 2017


The BSDB is delighted to announce William Harris FRS FMedSci, Head of the Department of Physiology, Development & Neuroscience, as the 2017 winner of the Waddington Medal. Bill has been awarded for his pioneering contributions to the understanding of retinal development. Through  his  passion  for  science,  his  leadership  and  his  mentoring  of  people  at  all  career  stages,  Bill  has  made  outstanding  contributions  to  Developmental  Biology.  Working  at  the  interface  of  Developmental  Biology  and  Neuroscience,  he  has  championed  the  field  within  Cambridge,  across  the  UK  and  throughout  the  world.  His  deep  interest  and  scientific  enthusiasm  have  led  to  major  insights  in  the  field  of  neuronal  specification  and  wiring. For more details of Bill’s career and work, please visit this blog post. The medal talk is available on YouTube, and an interview with Bill will be published in Development in the coming weeks.

The Waddington Medal, the only national award in developmental biology, is awarded for outstanding research performance as well as services to the subject community. The medal is awarded annually at the BSDB Spring Meeting, where the recipient presents the Waddington Medal Lecture. BSDB members are invited to nominate suitable candidates.

Waddington_medalConrad Waddington was a leading British embryologist and geneticist who was highly influential in the development of both subjects during the 1930s through to the 1960s. He stressed the importance of genes and the control of gene activity in embryonic development even before the chemical nature of the gene was discovered. He had started his career as a palaeontologist , and the design on the medal shows an ammonite, a type of animal whose shell structure reveals its entire life history. On the other side is a snake eating its tail, symbolising feedback control, and a Greek inscription meaning “one entity incorporates into itself all other entities of the universe.”

Posted on 28/04/2017

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