Professor Sir Paul Nurse is a Nobel Prize winner and President of the Royal Society. Image provided courtesy of the BBC.

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Alumni Auditorium

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Sir Paul Nurse: Great Ideas of Biology

A presentation by Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society

A Research Services research event
Date29 May 2014
Time17:30 to 19:15
PlaceAlumni Auditorium

Video linked to Peter Lanyon Seminar Room 10


To view a recording of Great Ideas of Biology please visit our Echo360 page.

Paul Nurse actually gave two talks during his visit to Exeter. His other talk was a more technical presentation on controlling the cell cycle - presented to undergraduate students during their biosciences conference.

You can also view this talk online.


Photographs from this event are available to view on Flickr.


Three of the great ideas of biology are the gene theory; the theory of evolution by natural selection; and the proposal that the cell is the fundamental unit of all life.

When considering the question of 'what is life?' these ideas come together. The special way in which cells reproduce provides the conditions for natural selection to take place, allowing living organisms to evolve.

A fourth idea of biology is that the organisation of chemistry within the cell provides explanations for life’s phenomena. A new idea is the central role that information management plays in generating biological organisation.

About Sir Paul

Sir Paul Nurse is a geneticist and cell biologist who has worked on how the eukaryotic cell cycle is controlled and how cell shape and cell dimensions are determined.  His major work has been on the cyclin dependent protein kinases and how they regulate cell reproduction.  

He is President of the Royal Society and Director of the Francis Crick Institute in London and has served as Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK and President of Rockefeller University. 

He shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and has received the Albert Lasker Award and the Royal Society's Royal and Copley Medals.  He was knighted in 1999 and received the Legion d'honneur in 2003.

ProviderResearch Services
OrganizerResearch and Knowledge Transfer Events

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