Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, Sir Gregory Winter, who was named the joint-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry yesterday, has vowed to spend £2,793 of his winnings on Champagne and re-engineering his moat.
The three recipients of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry were named yesterday and among them was British scientist Sir Gregory Winter.
Winter is master of Trinity College, Cambridge, a fellow of the Royal Society and was knighted in 2004 for his services to science. He was jointly-awarded the Nobel Prize alongside American scientist George P Smith “for the phage display of peptides and antibodies”.
His pioneering work, using a technique called phage display, led to the development of monoclonal antibody drugs that are used to treat conditions such as arthritis and tackle the spread of cancer.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Winter revealed that he was feeling a little worse for wear when he heard the news, after overindulging at a “college feast” the night before.
After sitting at his computer “looking balefully” at his work schedule for the day, he received a phone call, informing him that he’d become a Nobel Laureate.
“This operator had a Swedish accent,” he told the Associated Press. “It reminded me of my bank ringing up and telling me I had some dodgy transaction on my account…I was feeling a bit rocky.
“It came as a bit of a shock. I felt numb for a while, wondering if this was real. It’s like you’re in a different universe”.
This, however, didn’t stop the scientist from arranging a fizz-fuelled celebration at his lab.
“They have already told me the champagne bill will be £2,793 and can we have your credit card number please?” he added.
Winter, who has carried out the vast majority of his research in Cambridge, has also founded three biotech companies in the city based on his discoveries – Cambridge Antibody Technology, Domantis, and Bicycle Therapeutics.
Kevin Lee, CEO of Bicycle Therapeutics, commented: “We are extremely proud that Greg’s pioneering work in phage display of peptides and antibodies has been recognised by the Nobel Committee.
“His inventions have underpinned the development of the majority of marketed antibody products, which have transformed the way many cancers and other diseases are treated. We are delighted to be working with Greg to apply the Bicycle technology he invented with Christian Heinis, and develop the next generation of first-in-class, highly targeted new medicines for oncology and other diseases of high unmet need”.
Winter shares a quarter of the nine million Swedish krona (£770,000) prize money with Smith as well as Frances H. Arnold, who was decorated for her work on “the directed evolution of enzymes”.
It’s expected that he’ll also spend a portion of his winnings on re-engineering the moat at his country home, which he lists as one of his main hobbies.