Sir Gregory P. Winter
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018
Born: 14 April 1951, Leicester, United Kingdom
Affiliation at the time of the award: MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Prize motivation: “for the phage display of peptides and antibodies”
Prize share: 1/4
Gregory Winter was born in Leicester in Great Britain but grew up in Ghana, where his father was a professor of French. He studied at the University of Cambridge and earned his PhD in 1977 at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, where he has continued his work. He has also formed companies focusing on the development of antibodies for use in pharmaceuticals.
Evolution – the adaptation of species to different environments –has created an enormous diversity of life. Gregory Winter has used the same principles – genetic change and selection – for the directed evolution of antibodies. Specifically, he used phage display, a method where a bacteriophage – a virus that infects bacteria with its genes – is used to evolve new proteins. Since 2002 this has led to new pharmaceuticals, such as medications to counteract autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.