Background & History
The Waddington Medal, the only national award in developmental biology, is awarded for outstanding research performance as well as services to the subject community. The medal is awarded annually at the BSDB Spring Meeting, where the recipient presents the Waddington Medal Lecture. BSDB members are invited to nominate suitable candidates.
Conrad Waddington was a leading British embryologist and geneticist who was highly influential in the development of both subjects during the 1930s through to the 1960s. He stressed the importance of genes and the control of gene activity in embryonic development even before the chemical nature of the gene was discovered. He had started his career as a palaeontologist , and the design on the medal shows an ammonite, a type of animal whose shell structure reveals its entire life history. On the other side is a snake eating its tail, symbolising feedback control, and a Greek inscription meaning “one entity incorporates into itself all other entities of the universe.”
The BSDB is delighted to announce Enrico Coen CBE FRS of the John Innes Centre, Norwich, as the 2016 winner of the Waddington Medal. Professor Coen was awarded the medal for his pioneering contributions to understanding patterning and morphogenesis in plants, particularly snap dragon flowers. His work elegantly combines molecular genetics, diverse imaging techniques and computational modeling (see the Coen lab site). He is also well known for his popular science books ‘The art of genes’ (1999) and ‘Cells to civilisations’ (2012), and his painting, which has appeared on the cover of Cell and the walls of the Royal Society. The medal talk is available on YouTube, and an interview performed by Cat Vicente during the Spring meeting is scheduled to be published in Development.
- 2015 Lewis Wolpert – [lecture] – [interview]
- 2014 Philip Ingham – [lecture] – [interview]
- 2013 Jim Smith
- 2012 Alfonso Martinez Arias
- 2011 Christopher Wylie
- 2010 Robin Lovell-Badge
- 2009 Liz Robertson
- 2008 Pat Simpson
- 2007 David Ish-Horowicz
- 2006 Claudio Stern
- 2005 Michael Akam
- 2004 Jeff Williams
- 2003 Julian Lewis
- 2002 Jonathan Slack
- 2001 Mike Bate
- 2000 Peter Lawrence
- 1999 Rosa Beddington
- 1998 Cheryll Tickle
Look up the Waddington Medal on Wikipedia for more information.
Nominations for the Waddington Medal
Nominees should be outstanding developmental biologists who have made a significant contribution to UK developmental biology and who are still currently active in the field. Examples of significant contribution to UK developmental biology include: activity in the community, mentoring UK developmental biologists, and contributing to a significant textbook or other aspect of teaching and/or training.
The following nomination procedure has been agreed by the Committee:
- Formal nominations should be made to the BSDB Secretary (email@example.com) by the closing deadline each year, but can be received at any time.
- Nominations should consist of a statement of support (maximum 1 page A4) from a Proposer and Seconder (both BSDB members), stating why the candidate is suitable for the Medal, giving a brief summary of his/her career history and listing five key publications.
- All nominations received will be considered, and voted upon, by the Committee at the end of July each year.
- The winner will be invited to present the Waddington Medal lecture at the following BSDB Spring Meeting, where the medal will be presented by the Chairman.
Waddington medal lecture movies