Wolf Prize Laureate in Agriculture 1988
Ernest John Christopher Polge
Affiliation at the time of the award:
Animal Biotechnology Cambridge Ltd., UK
“for pioneering work in reproductive physiology including cell preservation, fertilization processes, egg biology and embryo manipulations for domestic animal improvement”.
Dr. Ernest John Christopher Polge is renowned for his pioneering work on the cryopreservation of living cells, such as sperm and in embryos. His work in this area promoted the development of the science of cryobiology. He has also contributed significantly to our understanding of embryonic development, in vitro fertilization and embryo transplants. In addition, he led a group to international recognition for pioneering techniques in cloning livestock animals by embryo division and nuclear transfer, and initiated transgenic research by insertion of gene constructs into pronuclei of recently fertilized eggs.
Throughout his career he has been concerned with the transfer and application of science for the improvement of livestock production.
The combined contributions of Polge and Thibault have had a major impact on reproductive biology, livestock production and related reproductive issues on other mammals as well as in humans. In addition both have had a major role in the training of other scientists and their leadership roles in reproductive biology.