In this Perspective, I review my scientific career, which began after I trained in medicine in Montreal and in neurology in Boston. I started in immunology in London with Avrion Mitchison, using antibodies against cell-surface antigens to study the development and functions of mouse T and B cells. The finding that antibody binding causes immunoglobulin on B cells to redistribute rapidly on the cell surface and be endocytosed transformed me from an immunologist into a cell biologist. I moved with Mitchison to University College London, where my colleagues and I used the antibody approach to study cells of the rodent nervous system, focusing on the intrinsic and extrinsic molecular mechanisms that control the development and behavior of myelinating glial cells—Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes. I retired from active research in 2002 and now spend much of my time on scientific advisory boards and thinking about autism.


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