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Department of Chemistry

Image: courtesy of the Royal Society

Many congratulations to our colleague, Professor David Klenerman. He has received a knighthood in the New Year Honours List for his contribution to the development of high-speed DNA sequencing technology.

David says: "I feel very humbled to be recognised in this way."

He is a professor of biophysical chemistry here and a Fellow of Christ's College. He is best known for his contribution in the field of next-generation sequencing of DNA, which subsequently resulted in Solexa, a high-speed DNA sequencing company that he co-founded with his colleague Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian. (They are pictured together above.)

Shankar's and David’s legendary discussions in the department's local pub led to their invention of the leading next generation sequencing methodology, now known as Solexa sequencing, that has made routine, accurate, low-cost sequencing of human genomes a reality, revolutionising biology and genomic medicine.

David said: "I also want to acknowledge and sincerely thank the highly talented people who have worked with me over the years and without whom my research would simply not have been possible. In particular, the development of Solexa sequencing was the result of a massive team effort."

Head of Department Dr James Keeler says: "Our congratulations to Sir David on this very significant and well-deserved honour."

David was educated here at Cambridge, receiving his BA in 1982 and his PhD in Chemistry in 1986. He has received a string of honours for his work, including a 2018 Royal Medal from the Royal Society for his outstanding contribution to applied sciences. He was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015 and Fellow of the Royal Society in 2012.