Ian Wilmut

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Sir Ian Wilmut , OBE (born July 7, 1944 in Hampton Lucey, Warwickshire ) is a British embryologist and head of the medical cell biology research team at the University of Edinburgh . So far he was considered the spiritual "father" of the clone sheep Dolly .


Keith Campbell , not Ian Wilmut, cloned Dolly the sheep, born on July 5, 1996, with the nucleus of a mature cell during his research. In this experiment, it was possible for the first time to clone mammals through cell nuclear transfer . Previously, this was successfully done in amphibians ( Thomas J. King and Robert W. Briggs , 1952).

After this success, he received the qualification "Doctor of Science" (DSc) three times in 1998, 1999 and 2002. In 1999, Wilmut was named Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II and in 2008 he was raised to the rank of personal nobility as a Knight Bachelor with the title "Sir". In addition, he received more than ten different awards for his research achievements, including the Ernst Schering Prize in 2002 . In 2005 he was awarded the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize , and in 2008 the Shaw Prize (with Campbell and Shin'ya Yamanaka ).

In April 2004, Wilmut submitted an application to the responsible authority, the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HEFA), to clone human embryos. His goal is to clone human embryos for the purpose of stem cell research . This led to strong protests from opponents of human cloning. Wilmut justified his request by saying that he wanted to develop therapies against fatal nerve disorders, which justified cloning from a medical point of view. On February 8, 2005 he was granted a license to clone human embryos by the HFEA. In 2004 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and in 2005 he was elected a member of the Leopoldina .

Clone scandal

Ian Wilmut is said to have admitted before a committee of inquiry in Edinburgh that he was not the "father" of the world-famous clone sheep. This honor goes to his colleague Dr. Keith Campbell. The cell biologist and embryologist was employed in the cloning project at the time. He should therefore actually have been named as the first author. But Wilmut had apparently secured this privilege - and thus earned the fame, financial resources and prizes.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize 2005 goes to Ian Wilmut , idw online 22 November 2004 (PDF)
  2. Member entry by Ian Wilmut (with picture) at the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina , accessed on July 20, 2016.
  3. Auslan Cramb: I didn't clone Dolly the sheep, says prof ( Memento from April 22, 2008 in the Internet Archive ), Telegraph March 8, 2006 (archive version)