Honours: Science - Cloning pioneer rewarded

The scientist who led the team which cloned Dolly the sheep has been awarded a knighthood.

Sir Ian Wilmut, who left the Roslin Research Institute where the work was carried out and is now the director of the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Edinburgh University, was given the honour for services to science.

Sir Ian, 63, carried out the cloning work in 1996 but the birth of Dolly was only announced early in 1997 when the work was formally published in the journal Nature. It was the first time that scientists had been able to clone a healthy offspring from an adult mammal and led to a resurgence of interest in cloning technology and the use of stem cells for regenerative medicine and as laboratory models of human disease.

He is joined on the honours list by Sir Bruce Ponder, a cancer geneticist at the University of Cambridge who pioneered the discovery of genes responsible for tumour formation, and Sir John Bell, the regius professor of medicine at Oxford University, who are both awarded knighthoods for services to medicine.

Sir Robert Naylor, chief executive of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, receives a knighthood for services to health care. Meanwhile, Debby Reynolds, the former chief vet who took early retirement, is awarded Companion of the Bath.

Steve Connor