Kim Nasmyth on Scientific Career: Mitchison’s Lab at Edinburgh University
  Kim Nasmyth     Biography    
Recorded: 20 May 2004

So I ended up being interested in the cell cycle because I sort of liked theoretical biology. There had been a bit… there had been a number of people who were interested in how you generate, how does the cell cycle … It’s clear there must be some sort of oscillation there that drives cell division. It’s sort of a repetitive process and there was a lot of sort of theoretical work as to how you could generate oscillations that could drive the cell cycle. And I was sort of interested in the mathematics involved. And then I got so interested in thinking about what actual molecules might be oscillating and that’s how I ended up going off to [Murdock ] Mitchison’s Lab [at the Edinburgh University]. He spent a lot of his time measuring what proteins were made when during the cell cycle. I remember going up there and being very excited about all these sort of theoretical ideas and meeting Paul [Nurse] who was a postdoc who just arrived and he was very polite. He thought I was a complete nut case. Actually he thought I was very naïve, which I was. I was quite excited about going there. I decided to go off and do my Ph.D. there.

Kim Nasmyth is the Head of the Biochemistry Department of the University of Oxford and the Whitley Professor of Biochemistry. He was educated in Great Britain and earned his Ph.D in Zoology from the University of Edinburgh. He did his postdoctoral studies in Ben Hall's labolatory in Seattle Washington. He spent one year at Cold spring Harbor Laboratories as a Robertson Fellow. He was the Director of the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna (Austria). He is one of the discoverer of cohesin, protein complex which during cell division is crucial for faithful chromosome segregation.

Professor Nasmyth is a fellow of the Royal Society and Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received many scientific honours, including the Max Perutz Prize, the Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine and the Wittgenstein Prize and the Unilever Science Prize.

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