Nobel Laureate, one of Britain's most highly regarded
scientists and greatest communicators

Bill EmmottScience in Society
"Making Science Work"

Sir Paul Nurse

Director, Francis Crick Institute
Former President Royal Society


In 2010, Paul Nurse became the first Director of the Francis Crick Institute, which is dedicated to understanding the biology underlying health and disease. In addition he was President of the Royal Society for 5 years.

Paul was born in Norfolk and in 1970 received a degree in biology at the University of Birmingham and a PhD in 1973 from the University of East Anglia. In Bern he used a classical genetic approach to study the cell cycle by identifying and studying a set of cell cycle defective mutants that have formed the basis of much of his future work.

In 1984, he joined ICRF, (which became Cancer Research UK in 2002), returning as Director-General in 1996 after chairing the Department of Microbiology at the University of Oxford. In 2003, Paul became President of Rockefeller University where he continued to work on the cell cycle, cell form and genomics of fission yeast.

He was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Leland Hartwell and Tim Hunt for discoveries of protein molecules that control the division of cells in the cell cycle.

In 1989 he was elected to the Royal Society and was knighted in 1999. He was awarded the French Legion d'Honneur in 2002. He was a member of the Council for Science and Technology advising the Prime Minister from 2000 to 2015. I

n 2013 he became the winner of the Albert Einstein World Award of Science conferred by the World Cultural Council, and since 2017 has been a Chief Scientific Advisor of the European Commission. Paul has received over 60 honorary degrees and fellowships.

He was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in November 2018 by the Government of Japan.