The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 62: 35 - 41 (2018)

Vol 62, Issue 1-2-3

Special Issue: The Chick Embryo Model System

From soil mechanics to chick development

Published: 14 March 2018

Lewis Wolpert*

Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University College London, London, U.K.


Here, I provide some recollections of my life, starting as a civil engineer in South Africa and how I gradually became interested in biology, particularly pattern formation. In retrospect, I think that my decision to work on chick embryos to study limb development back in 1966 turned out to be the right one. The principles discovered in these 50 years, both by my collaborators and by other colleagues, have established the principles of how the limb develops in higher vertebrates, including humans.


positional information, Wolpert, autobiography, chick limb, theoretical biology, French flag model

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