Sydney Brenner, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2002, has died, BBC News reports. He was 92.
Brenner shared the Nobel with Robert Horvitz and John Sulston "for their discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death," according to the prize citation. Their research in particular focused on Caenorhabditis elegans, which Brenner helped develop into a model organism, as Nature News says. It says Brenner decided to work with C. elegans as it was more complex than other systems like bacteria, but still simple enough to understand.
Brenner, Nature News adds, was also a co-discoverer of messenger RNA.
In 1964, Brenner cofounded the European Molecular Biology Organization, known as EMBO, in Heidelberg, Germany, and, in the past 35 years, has helped build up the biomedical sciences in Singapore, according to Nature News.
"Sydney was brilliant, inspiring and incredible fun. He achieved so much in so many fields, from the genetic code to the fugu fish," says Sir David Lane, chief scientist at A*Star, in a press release announcing Brenner's death. "His generosity and encouragement of young scientists has created a wonderful legacy throughout the scientific world and especially here in Singapore."