A. Francis Stewart is Professor of Genomics at the Dresden University of Technology, which is one of the eleven elite German universities. He studied at the University of New South Wales, Sydney before post-doctoral work at the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg. In 1991 he started his own group at EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratories) working on epigenetic regulation in mammalian development. Notably his lab described the PhD finger and the first histone 3 lysine 4 methyltransferase complex. His lab also pioneered several genetic engineering methodologies including the gene switch based ligand regulated site specific recombination (now popular as CreERT2/tamoxifen), the recombinant DNA engineering methodology termed ‘recombineering’ and more recently BAC transposons. In 2001 he moved to Dresden as the first appointment to the Biotechnology Center, now the Center for Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering at Dresden University. His lab continues to develop genetic engineering technologies and plumb epigenetic mysteries, in particular the relationship between histone methylation and gene expression in mammalian development.