1980: Dr Frederick Sanger
For his second Nobel Prize (the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry), Sanger (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology) developed a technique to determine the exact sequence of the building blocks – the bases – in DNA, using special bases called chain terminators. He used the method to find out the genetic sequence of a virus, which had just over 5000 base-pairs and was the first fully sequenced genome.
Sanger’s method was used to determine the sequence of human DNA, and was the most widely used analysis method in the early 80s. It was key to the Human Genome Project, which has increased the understanding of many genetically-based diseases and cancer.