Lord Sainsbury of Turville read history and psychology at King's College, Cambridge, and then joined J Sainsbury plc in 1963. He received an MBA from the Columbia Graduate School of Business in New York in 1971. He was finance director of J Sainsbury plc from 1973-1990, deputy chairman from 1988-1992, and chairman from 1992-1998. He was appointed minister of Science and Innovation from July 1998 until November 2006, and had responsibility for the Office of Science and Technology, Innovation, Space, the Bioscience and Chemical Industries, and the Patent Office. He is the founder of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and is currently chancellor of Cambridge University.
Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior is the retired professor of animal pathology at the University of Cambridge. He is a specialist in the fields of microbiology and parasitology and acted as an expert advisor to the UK Government of animal welfare and other science issues. He has been president of a number of organisations, including: The Royal Society of Medicine; the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons; the Parliamentary and Scientific committee; and the Royal Institute for Public Health. He has received numerous awards, including the Chiron Award BVA.
Sir John Sulston is the chair of the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation at the University of Manchester. He was a joint recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death. He was appointed founder director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute where he led the completion of one third of the human genome, making a huge contribution in establishing that information in the genome should be freely available.
Professor Cheryll Tickle is a world leader in the field of developmental biology research, specialising in vertebrate limb formation, particularly looking at chick embryos. She is currently the Foulerton Royal Society professor at the University of Bath. She has produced an impressive number of papers that have been really influential to her field. Her research was significant in revealing the molecular network responsible for the patterning and growth of the vertebrate limb and she has contributed greatly to knowledge about the vertebrate body plan.
Dame Jean has been master of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, since 2007 and is Emeritus professor of macromolecular biochemistry at the university. She leads a team studying the structure and dynamics of chromatin (the complex of proteins and DNA that constitutes chromosomes) and its role in the repression and activation of genes. Dame Jean is the first female master of St Catharine's, which dates back to 1473. She was vice president and biological secretary of the Royal Society, and was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to biochemistry in 2004. Since May 2014 Dame Jean has been president of the Royal Society of Biology.
Professor Sir John Walker is the director of the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit in Cambridge. He was a joint recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in chemistry with Professor Paul Boyer for their elucidation of the enzymatic mechanism underlying the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Walker and his team established the structure of the enzyme ATP synthase which complemented Boyer's proposed mechanism.
Professor James Watson is well known as one of the scientists who uncovered the structure of DNA. He, along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material. Knowledge of the double helix structure of DNA has been most important to the field of genetics and, is perhaps, one of the most notable biological discoveries to date. Watson has held a number of prominent positions, including: chancellor of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and director of the National Centre for Human Genome Research at the National Institutes of Health. Other prestigious honours include the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award; the Copley Medal of The Royal Society; and an Honorary Knighthood from the British Empire for services to the UK-American partnership in the field of genetics.
Sir Ian Wilmut is a prominent embryologist and is currently the director of the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He is, perhaps, best known for playing the supervisory role in the team that produced Dolly the sheep in 1996, the first animal cloned from an adult cell. Ian's research looks at cell reprogramming mechanisms to study degenerative diseases and he participates in discussions and lecturers about the ethics concerning cloning. His honours include being knighted in the 2008 for services to science and receiving the Sir John Hammond Memorial Prize.
Lord Robert Winston is professor of science and society and emeritus professor of fertility studies at Imperial College. His research led to the development of gynaecological microsurgery and various improvements in reproductive medicine. His work on pre-implantation genetic diagnosis enabled families carrying gene defects to have children free of fatal illnesses. He has a reputation as an excellent and outspoken science communicator, writing and presenting an impressive portfolio of award-winning science programmes. He also speaks regularly on a range of topics in the House of Lords and was voted Peer of the Year for expertise and work on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill.
Professor Mitsuhiro Yanagida is a cell and molecular biologist who is an honorary professor at Kyoto University. During his research career Mitsuhiro has looked at chromosome dynamics of the cell division cycle, the genetics of mitosis, genome stability and checkpoint control and fission yeast. He is the member of a number of Society's and is on the editorial board of several journals including Cell and The EMBO journal. Awards he has received include the Toray Science and Technology Prize; The Japan Academy Prize and The Persons of Cultural Merit. Professor Yanagida being awarded his Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Society of Biology is available on YouTube.