Nobel laureate behind ground-breaking research

Sir Tim Hunt, 70, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2001 with scientists Lee Hartwell and Paul Nurse for their discoveries of "key regulators of the cell cycle".

The trio identified a protein that regulates cell division in all organisms except bacteria and viruses. Organisms are made up of cells, which multiply through cell division.

Born in the small English town of Neston in the Wirral, Cheshire, Sir Tim read natural sciences at the University of Cambridge in 1961, and completed his PhD in haemoglobin synthesis there in 1968.

While conducting a summer course in 1982 at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, in the United States, he did some experiments on the side and serendipitously discovered a previously unknown protein that regulated how cells divide.

Nearly two decades later, he was honoured for his ground-breaking research which shed light on cell division or mitosis.

He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1991, and was knighted for his contributions to science in 2006.

He retired in 2010 and is a member of Britain's Advisory Council for the Campaign for Science and Engineering.

He lives in London with his wife May, 54, and his teenage daughters Agnes and Celia.

He was in Singapore to launch an exhibition of sketches made by Nobel laureates of their discoveries at the Science Centre Singapore.

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