Prof Sir John Gurdon

biologist

At school, 15-year-old Sir John Gurdon ranked last at biology out of the 250 boys in his year group. His school report wrote off any scientific ambitions he exhibited with one teacher’s report stating: “I believe he has ideas about becoming a scientist; on his present showing this is quite ridiculous.” Having received such a disheartening appraisal, Sir John switched his attention to Classics and was offered a place to study the subject at Oxford. Thanks to maladministration in the Admissions Department, Sir John ended up reading zoology. It was whilst completing his postgraduate course at Oxford that Sir John successfully cloned a frog. In January 2012, Sir John was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine as a result of his groundbreaking stem cell research.

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