A knock at the cottage door yields no answer. A light is on, but nobody seems to be home. Down in the valley, I catch sight of a flat-capped, blue-anoraked figure, spade in hand. Is that the world-renowned biochemist I’ve come to meet, or the local farmer?
This immersive approach to problem solving is typical of Professor Sir Edwin Southern. He has devoted most of his scientific career to one of the biggest problems in biology: understanding the structure and function of DNA. Modest as always, he thinks it is his dogged determination that has led to his greatest successes in the lab. “I’m not particularly bright, but I’m obsessive,” he says, and yet his proven ability to make innovative leaps in biochemistry and genetics and to translate them into solutions to real world problems suggests more than hard work and bloody mindedness.
Read the full, original story: DNA pioneer Professor Sir Edwin Southern on the future of genomics