Spend an evening with Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, the pioneer of DNA fingerprinting

Posted by ap507 at May 10, 2016 12:55 PM |
University of Leicester emeritus professor and inventor of DNA fingerprinting to tell his story at unique fundraising event for the Royal Society of Biology on Monday 16 May

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 10 May 2016

An image of Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys is available here (Credit University of Leicester): https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4q6olxw5ddrm2n4/AAA6_UfOFwfHfqJ-Pts8TQPAa?dl=0

Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys Hon FRSB, the University of Leicester geneticist who invented DNA fingerprinting, will discuss his career and how he developed his ground-breaking technique at a Royal Society of Biology event on Monday 16 May.

The event, which takes place at 7:00pm at the Science Museum’s IMAX Theatre in London, will allow guests to spend an evening with Sir Alec, where they will be treated to a first-hand account of how he developed DNA fingerprinting in 1984 while a geneticist at the University of Leicester in an exclusive on-stage interview with Professor Alison Woollard, Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and editor of The Biologist.

Accompanying the interview will be clips from ‘Code of a Killer’, the critically-acclaimed 2015 ITV television adaptation which starred John Simm and David Threlfall which tells the story of Sir Alec’s breakthrough discovery and its early use in solving the double murder case that saw Colin Pitchfork convicted in 1988.

The night will also include a Q&A session for audience members to chat with Sir Alec.

Bookings can be made on the RSB website: www.rsb.org.uk/siralec.

Tickets are £25 for RSB members and £40 for non-members. There is a 10% discount available for group bookings of 10 people or more.  Raffle tickets will be on sale on the night.

The evening aims to raise money for the RSB to support schools, public engagement and aspiring bio-scientists.

Sir Alec’s ‘eureka moment’ came in his lab in Leicester in September 1984 after looking at the X-ray film image of a DNA experiment, which unexpectedly showed both similarities and differences between the DNA of different members of his technician's family.

This paved the way for the development of DNA fingerprinting which uses differences in the genetic code to identify individuals. Until 1987, when the technique was commercialised, Sir Alec’s lab was the only facility in the world which employed this method. 

Today DNA fingerprinting is a technique routinely used in solving immigration, paternity and murder cases. It is also used extensively in conservation and wildlife diversity work.

In 1994, Sir Alec received a knighthood for his services to genetics.

The event takes place Monday 16 May at 7:00pm at the Science Museum’s IMAX Theatre in London.

Further information about the event is available on the RSB website: www.rsb.org.uk/siralec


Notes to Editors:


Natasha Little
Royal Society of Biology

The Royal Society of Biology www.rsb.org.uk is a single unified voice for biology: advising Government and influencing policy; advancing education and professional development; supporting our members, and engaging and encouraging public interest in the life sciences. The Society represents a diverse membership of individuals, learned societies and other organisations.



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