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Desert Island Discs

15 Chwefror 2008

Nobel Laureate Sir Martin Evans, Professor of Mammalian Genetics at the University has taken a short break from his international schedule to be a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

Sir Martin was invited to take part in the popular programme (to be aired Sunday 17 February) where he will select the eight pieces of music, a book and a luxury that he would take to a desert island.

Since winning the Nobel Prize, Sir Martin has received invitations from all over the world to talk about his groundbreaking work into stem cell research and recently received the Great Briton Award for Science and Innovation.

Widely regarded as ‘the father of stem cell research’, Sir Martin’s discoveries are now applied in virtually all areas of biomedicine - from basic research to the development of new therapies, delivering new insights in the fight against diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis and cystic fibrosis.

In his interview with Desert Island Discs presenter Kirsty Young, Sir Martin places his family at the centre of his broadcast. He talks about meeting his wife Judith and the extensive work they both do for cancer charities, and how important it was for him to have all his family present as he collected his Nobel Prize in Stockholm, including his newborn granddaughter.

He describes the moment he heard the news of his award; on the way to his daughter’s house with a sander when he received a call from the University’s School of Biosciences: "I got a message from my secretary to urgently phone this number in Sweden. It turned out to be the Secretary of the Nobel Assembly, who said: ‘Professor Evans, I have some very good news for you.’ "

Sir Martin labels his move to Cardiff University in 1999 as "a reinvigorating experience", and describes how he relished the opportunity to set up a unit with a very broad scientific base. Cardiff is the inspiration of one of his musical choices, as well as the Nobel ceremony and a piece that reminds him of meeting his wife.

Listen to Sir Martin’s interview on Desert Island Discs 17 February 11.15 – 12.00 on BBC Radio 4 and repeated again Friday 22 February at 9am.