Sidney Fellow Professor Sir John Walker, Nobel Laureate in chemistry in 1997, was presented with the University of Helsinki's highest award earlier this month for his almost 20-year service in the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute of Biotechnology.

The University of Helsinki award bronze and silver medals to individuals who have made a significant contribution (scientific or other) to the University. Sir John Walker was presented with the silver medal in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the Institute of Biotechnology.

Sir John took his PhD in Oxford, and then continued in the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the early seventies. He was invited by Fred Sanger in the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge and was working as a colleague of Francis Crick. There he reached his scientific pinnacle acknowledged by a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1997 which he shared with Professor Paul Boyer. The Nobel Prize was awarded for their explanation of the enzymatic process that creates adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and their findings offer insight into the way life-forms produce energy. 

Sir John became a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization in 1983 and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1995. He is also a Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and L’Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, Italy, and was made an Honorary Fellow of St. Catharine’s College, Oxford, the Royal Society of New Zealand, and the Academy of Medical Sciences. In 2012, he received the Copley prize and was made the Honorary Gentle Scientist of the Mitochondrial Physiology Society, Austria. Her Majesty the Queen has knighted Sir John for his achievements in the field of molecular biology.

Professor Sir John Walker was made a Fellow of Sidney Sussex in 1997, and the College congratulations Sir John on his latest achievement.  

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