2001: Sir Paul Nurse and Dr Tim Hunt
Nurse and Hunt, (Imperial Cancer Research Fund) identified elements of the cell cycle, which coordinates processes involved in cell division, such as growth and chromosome duplication and separation. They were awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology of Medicine for this work.
Hunt worked on sea urchins and discovered proteins that are made and destroyed during the cell cycle. Nurse found the cdc2 gene, which controls cell division. These discoveries were supported by the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, which is now Cancer Research UK, as well as the MRC. They increased our understanding of cell cycle control defects and hence cancer.