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07 June 2017 6:30pm

'What Darwin didn't know...'

Charles Darwin published 'On the origin of Species' in 1859. This seminal text changed science for ever and completely changed our understanding of the natural world. But there are some things Darwin didn't know or understand at the time which are potentially even more earth shattering. David Summers takes us on a journey through the history of genetics.

David Summers did his undergraduate degree in Cambridge where, despite an initial intention to become a chemist, he found himself specialising in genetics. After graduation he moved to Oxford to undertake a D. Phil studying the plasmids of Staph aureus and then to Glasgow University where he switched to his all-time favourite bacterium, E. coli, for his post-doctoral work. After six years north of the border he returned to Cambridge University where he has remained ever since. For well over a decade his research interests remained rooted in plasmid biology but more recently this has morphed into an interest in bacterial signalling, including control of the bacterial cell cycle and antibiotic resistance. David served as Head of the Department of Genetics from 2004-9 and has been Director of Studies in Biology at Gonville and Caius College since 1991. He chairs the Cambridge University Faculty Board of Biology.

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