Sydney Brenner is currently a Distinguished Professor of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, USA. Dr. Brenner received degrees in Medicine and Science from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa and a D. Phil. in Chemistry from Oxford University, England. Dr. Brenner was a member of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England from 1956 to 1986, serving as Director from 1977 to 1986. He was Director of the MRC Unit of Molecular Genetics from 1986 to 1992.
Dr. Brenner was a pioneer of molecular genetics, making key contributions in the identification of mRNA and the demonstration of a triplet code. In the 1960s, Brenner and his colleagues at the MRC pioneered the development of the nematode C. elegans as a model organism for understanding development and other complex biological processes. In the past decade, Dr. Brenner has been interested in understanding vertebrate genomes.
Dr. Brenner has received many awards and honors and is a member of several National Academies of Sciences. His honors include the Companion of Honour, two Albert Lasker awards, one for his work in molecular genetics in 1971 and the Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science in 2000, and the Kyoto Prize in 1990. Dr. Brenner (along with H. Robert Horvitz and John E. Sulston) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2002 for pioneering discoveries using C. elegans to uncover genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death.