Professor Werner Arber is a Swiss microbiologist and geneticist. In 1978 Arber was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of restriction endonucleases. Without the discovery of restriction enzymes, the fields of recombinant DNA technology, biotechnology, and genomics as we know them today would not exist.

Arber hypothesised that bacterial cells produce two types of enzymes, "restriction" and "modification". Today researchers rely on restriction enzymes to perform virtually any process that involves manipulating, analysing and creating new combinations of DNA sequences.

Arber is credited with a long list of accomplishments within the biotechnology sector including research in areas of the mechanisms of biological evolution and bacterial restriction and modification.

During his rectorate period in December 1985, Arber proposed the Trinational Biotechnology Program which kicked off at the beginning of the 1990s at the Universities of Strasbourg, Basel, Freiburg i.Brsg., and Karlsruhe and is still taught today.

Werner Arber is a true Swiss Success Story, without whom, the field of Biotechnology might be a very different place.

  • Nominated in 2019