Sir Ian Wilmut, OBE (born 7 July 1944) is an English embryologist and is currently Director of the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He is best known as the leader of the research group that in 1996 first cloned a mammal from an adult somatic cell, a Finnish Dorset lamb named Dolly. He was granted an OBE in 1999 for services to embryo development. In December 2007 it was announced that he would be knighted in the 2008 New Year Honours.
Wilmut was born in Hampton Lucy, Warwickshire, England. Wilmut's father, Leonard Wilmut, was a mathematics teacher who suffered from diabetes for fifty years eventually causing blindness. He was a student of the former Boys' High School, in Scarborough, where his father taught. Wilmut's early desire was to embark on a naval career, but he was unable to do so due to his colour blindness. As a school boy, Wilmut worked as a farm hand on weekends, which inspired him to study Agriculture at the University of Nottingham.
During the summer of 1966 Wilmut spent 8 weeks working in the laboratory of Christopher Polge, who is credited with developing the technique of cryopreservation in 1949. The following year, Wilmut joined Polge's laboratory to undertake a research PhD, from which he graduated in 1971. Wilmut has since been involved in research focusing on gametes and embryogenesis including working at the Roslin Institute. In 1998 he received the Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran Award.