Our Company l Advisory Board

Sir Walter Bodmer, PhD, FRCPath, FRS
Chairman, Oxford University

Sir Walter Bodmer studied mathematics at Cambridge University. He completed his PhD working with Sir R. A. Fisher in population genetics. As a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University, he studied molecular biology with Dr. Joshua Lederberg. During his nine years at Stanford, he worked with Julia Bodmer (his wife) and Rose Payne. Together they contributed to the discovery of the HLA system which cultivated his long standing involvement with somatic cell genetics.

In 1970, Sir Bodmer returned to the UK to become Chair of Genetics at Oxford University. In 1979 he left Oxford to become Director of Research at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories in London and was appointed the first Director-General of the Fund in 1991. Following retirement from the ICRF in 1996, he returned to Oxford University as Principal of Hertford College until 2005, and as Head of the ICRF (now CRUK) Cancer and Immunogenetics Laboratory at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine where he continues his research.

Dr. Bodmer was one of the first to suggest the idea of the Human Genome Project and was initially a Vice President, and then President of HUGO. He has made major contributions to human population genetics, somatic cell genetics, and the development of the HLA system as well as recent discoveries in cancer genetics especially as applied to colorectal cancer.

Sir Bodmer was elected FRS in 1974, knighted in 1986 for his contributions to science, is a Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and is the recipient of more than thirty honorary degrees, memberships and fellowships in scientific and medical societies

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