Professor Kerr is nominated for his contributions to understanding physiologic cell death. His landmark paper in 1972 with Kerr and Wyllie named this process apoptosis, to emphasise its complementary but opposite role to mitosis. Kerr was the first to delineate the ultrastructural features of apoptosis, showing it to be quite distinct from necrosis, provoked by tissue injury. He drew attention for the first time to the role of cell death in normal adult mammals and in disease. He clearly enunciated the concept that cell death is a selectively regulated process which should be possible to control in disease states.