The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, led tributes to the achievements of Professor Sir Martin Evans FRS, which earned the award of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, the most prestigious honour in world science.
The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown
“I want to congratulate Professor Sir Martin Evans on this marvellous achievement. This is a proud day for Sir Martin, for Cardiff University and for the country.
“It is my hope that our budding young scientists will follow the lead of Sir Martin and that the UK can produce many more Nobel Prize winners in the years ahead.”
The Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, Dr David Grant.
“The Nobel Prize is tribute not just to the academic brilliance of Sir Martin’s discoveries, once thought by many to be impossible, but also to the wide–ranging benefits of his research.”
“As the Nobel Assembly correctly points out, the breakthroughs by Sir Martin and his fellow Nobel laureates have generated an explosion of international research activity applying their techniques. Sir Martin himself has developed models for diseases such as human breast cancer, just one of the diseases where our understanding has been revolutionised, offering hope to millions of sufferers around the world.”
Professor John Harwood, Head of the School of Biosciences.
“This is fantastic news and clearly is very well deserved. Martin’s research into stem cells and gene therapy is very important and offers all sorts of promise to medicine.
“This is also marvellous news for Cardiff University and Wales. Cardiff improves year on year and this is another accolade for the University. In science it doesn't come any higher than the Nobel Prize.”
Professor David Wynford Thomas, Dean of Medicine, Cardiff University.
"My warmest congratulations to Sir Martin on behalf of all colleagues in the School of Medicine. His achievement is one in which all of us working in medicine throughout Wales can take pride in. In fulfilling its all-Wales role, the School of Medicine is working with partners and collaborators across a wide spectrum of genetic research, from fundamental laboratory work on molecules and cells through to genetic screening tests in the clinic. The significance of Martin's work and the benefits flowing from it are fully appreciated by all of us. There is no higher honour in medicine than the Nobel Prize and its award to Sir Martin is entirely commensurate with the importance of his breakthrough."
Professor Sir Martin Rees
(Lord Rees of Ludlow) President of the Royal Society and Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University.
“This is a fitting recognition of Sir Martin’s ground-breaking research on embryonic stem cells. He is a world leader in mammalian genetics and his research has undoubtedly increased our understanding of human diseases.
“Stem cell research has immense potential. It is a field to which UK scientists such as Martin have made pioneering contributions and maintain a powerful presence.”
Welsh Assembly Government First Minister Rhodri Morgan
“On behalf of the people of Wales, I send my personal congratulations to Sir Martin and to his colleagues for winning the most prestigious title in medicine.
“The fact that Sir Martin has done pioneering work on embryonic stem cells has already set him out as a world leader in his field of research and this recognition is a real ‘feather in the cap’ for the Welsh higher education sector, and for Wales as a whole.
“A role model like Sir Martin is precisely what is needed to encourage the young people of Wales into challenging careers in science and technology and develop the potential to become the Nobel Laureates of the future.
“Wales has already attracted multinational research companies that recognise the potential Wales has to offer and by winning this most prestigious award, Sir Martin has given the Welsh health research sector international credibility in a way that nothing else can.”
Goran Hansson, Member of the Nobel Committee
“Targeting genes had transformed the understanding of human physiology and medicine. It is difficult to imagine contemporary medical research without the use of gene-targeted models.
“The ability to generate predictable designer mutations in mouse genes has led to penetrating new insights into development, immunology, neurobiology, physiology and metabolism.
“The development of novel therapies to correct genetic defects in man will build on the experience of gene modification in mice that is based on the discoveries made by Capecchi, Evans and Smithies.”
Professor Steve Brown Director of the Medical Research Council Mammalian Genetics Unit
“It has been a ground breaking achievement.
“The ability to study how individual genes might cause disease leads to enormous opportunities for the development of new approaches to therapeutics and treatment. We're on the cusp of having a much better understanding of the relationship between genes and disease and how, when genes go wrong, they cause disease.”