A British researcher whose schoolboy ambition to become a scientist was dismissed as “quite ridiculous” by his teacher has won a Nobel prize for reprograming adult cells into forms that can grow into different tissues.

Sir John Gurdon at Cambridge University shares the prize in physiology or medicine - and the 8m Swedish kronor (£744,000) winnings - with the Japanese scientist, Shinya Yamanaka.

Photo: Nobel prizewinner Sir John Gurdon. Ho/AFP/Getty