Keith Campbell, who cloned Dolly the sheep, dead at 58

In this file picture taken on September 9, 2008, British scientist Keith Campbell speaks at the Shaw Prize award presentation ceremony in Hong Kong.

Story highlights

  • Scientist was credited with much of the work behind Dolly's cloning
  • He was a researcher at Scottish institute when the sheep was cloned in 1996
  • The work is leading to therapies that will save lives, a researcher told Campbell's university

Keith Campbell, the scientist who helped pioneer the birth of Dolly the sheep, the world's first mammal cloned from fully developed adult cells, has died, according to The University of Nottingham.

Campbell, 58, died on October 5, according to a university statement released Thursday. His funeral has been scheduled for October 24.

The university did not say how he died.

Campbell was part of a team at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, Scotland, that cloned Dolly in 1996. Her birth made headlines worldwide, capturing the scientific imagination of many while generating intense controversy over the ethics of cloning.

While Campbell is not listed in research papers as the principal investigator in papers related to Dolly's cloning, the man who is -- Ian Wilmut -- told The Telegraph newspaper in 2009 that Campbell deserved much of the credit for the feat.

He was more recently focused on the use of stem cells and gene transplantation as tools for studying and treating human disease, according to his research profile.

Jose Cibelli, a Michigan State University researcher, said Campbell's work has led directly to treatments that will soon be saving lives around the world.

"We anticipate that within the next five years, patients suffering from degenerative diseases will be treated -- if not cured -- using technology introduced by Dr. Campbell," the university quoted him as saying. "All these scientific breakthroughs Professor Campbell gave us did not happen by chance; they are the product of years of study, hands-on experimentation and above all, a deep love for science."

Dolly died in 2003. Her mounted remains are on display at the National Museum of Scotland.

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