OGT founder Professor Sir Ed Southern awarded the 2011 MRC Millennium Medal

Oxford, UK – 30 January 2012. Professor Sir Ed Southern, founder of Oxford Gene Technology (OGT), a provider of innovative clinical genetics and diagnostic solutions to advance molecular medicine, has been awarded the 2011 Medical Research Council (MRC) Millennium Medal. Sir Ed becomes one of only four researchers to have received the prize since it was inaugurated in the year 2000, which recognises an MRC-funded scientist whose outstanding research has made a major contribution towards the health and wealth of our society. Described by Professor Anthony Hamilton, vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, as a “scientist, innovator, entrepreneur and philanthropist”, Sir Ed’s work developing the technology underpinning modern DNA microarrays, has “transformed healthcare and improved the lives of many patients” according to MRC chief executive Sir John Savill.

Upon receiving the MRC Millennium Medal, Sir Ed said: “I am greatly thankful for the support of the Medical Research Council. The MRC has very high standards, and to be funded by them is a commendation in itself.” Sir Ed has made major contributions to the field of DNA research, and in 1975 invented a revolutionary technique for identifying whether specific sequences are contained in a sample of DNA, which became known subsequently as the ‘Southern Blot’. Commenting on Sir Ed’s pioneering work, Sir John Savill suggested that “without the blotting technique, so many other discoveries and advances would not have been made.” A second invention, based on the attachment of a multitude of specific DNA probes to a solid substrate, laid the groundwork for the development of modern DNA microarrays, which allow the entire human genome to be investigated quickly and easily. This approach has many applications in genomic research, clinical diagnosis and drug discovery, and has subsequently spawned an industry worth billions of pounds.

In 1995, Sir Ed founded the biotechnology company OGT, with the mission of developing advanced molecular tools for biologists. By leveraging its world class expertise in microarray technology and genomic data analysis, the company provides high quality products and services for use in cytogenetics research, genome wide association studies and copy number variation (CNV) detection. The company has also recently invested in developing a targeted sequencing service and a novel biomarker discovery platform that uses protein-based array technology. By combining these research solutions, customers have access to a complete genomic analysis and biomarker discovery toolkit that provides high quality data using independently accredited laboratory procedures. In addition to holding the roles of Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, Sir Ed also leads OGT’s Exploratory Research group which seeks to provide innovative solutions to scientific problems, including single cell analysis, single molecule imaging and cancer mutation screening.  Sir Ed has also established two charities: the Kirkhouse Trust which works to improve crops in semi-arid regions of East and West Africa; and the Edina Trust which promotes and funds science in schools.

For more information about OGT visit the new OGT website at www.ogt.co.uk. More information on Sir Ed’s Charities can be found at www.kirkhousetrust.org and www.edinatrust.org.uk.

About Oxford Gene Technology
Founded by Professor Ed Southern, Oxford Gene Technology (OGT) provides innovative clinical genetics and diagnostic solutions to advance molecular medicine. www.ogt.co.uk.

Clinical & Genomic Solutions: OGT’s Genefficiency™ is a unique combination of world-leading platforms, people, processing power and performance synchronised to deliver rapid, high-quality genomic data to customers worldwide. OGT’s CytoSure™ cytogenetics array, labelling and interpretation software products and services provide a complete solution for the detection of chromosomal abnormalities. Together, Genefficiency and CytoSure offer a unique, standardised and integrated solution for cytogenetics research.

Biomarker Discovery: OGT delivers tailored biomarker discovery solutions that optimise drug and diagnostic development programmes. With expertise in genomic and proteomic diagnostic biomarkers, OGT provides highly specific customised biomarker panels for cancer and other diseases, both for direct sale and also for collaboration with partner companies.

About the Kirkhouse Trust
The Kirkhouse Trust was set up in 2000 (Registered Charity No. SC 030508). The current funding focus is: agricultural crop improvement research for the developing world, specifically on legumes.

About the Edina Trust
The Edina Trust was set up in 2002 (Registered Charity No. SC 033562). Its charitable purpose is: to promote and further in any way education in the community, community projects, support for families and social matters. The origins of the Trust funds have led to an interest in funding activities which enhance the teaching and learning of science in primary schools.

Both Trusts are registered in Scotland. They were funded by gift aid donations from Oxford Gene Technology IP Ltd, a UK company founded by Professor Sir Ed Southern.

CytoSure™: For research use only
This product is provided under an agreement between Agilent Technologies, Inc., and OGT. The manufacture, use, sale or import of this product may be subject to one or more of U.S. patents, pending applications, and corresponding international equivalents, owned by Agilent Technologies, Inc. The purchaser has the non-transferable right to use and consume the product for RESEARCH USE ONLY AND NOT for DIAGNOSTICS PROCEDURES. It is not intended for use, and should not be used, for the diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, treatment or alleviation of any disease or condition, or for the investigation of any physiological process, in any identifiable human, or for any other medical purpose.

For further information, please contact:
Oxford Gene Technology, Begbroke Science Park,
Sandy Lane, Yarnton, Oxford OX5 1PF
T: +44 (0) 1865 856826 ; F: +44 (0) 1865 848684
E: [email protected]
W: [email protected]www.ogt.co.uk