Georgina Ferry interviews George Brownlee.
George Brownlee FRS is Emeritus Professor of Chemical Pathology in the Dunn School. He obtained his PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, working with the Nobel prizewinner Fred Sanger on the sequencing of small RNAs. He continued to work at the LMB as an independent scientist, on messenger RNA and the RNA genome of the influenza virus. In 1978 he was invited by Henry Harris to become the inaugural Professor of Chemical Pathology at the Dunn School, where he introduced molecular biological techniques to the department and developed faster methods of sequencing RNA. He also bought the first computer in the department in order to store and analyse nucleic acid sequences. Brownlee continued to work on the influenza virus, work that was critical to developing some influenza vaccines, and also cloned human Factor IX, which is deficient in some forms of haemophilia. With the royalties from these discoveries he has partly endowed the Brownlee Abraham Chair of Molecular Biology in the Dunn School, and he is also a past Chair of the EPA Cephalosporin Fund.