My research career has focused on complex experimental systems, principally virus-induced infectious processes. I have always run my own experimental program and never had a major mentor, although I have had many great colleagues. After graduating from the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Queensland, Australia, I worked for nine years on diseases of domestic animals. During that interval I completed a part-time PhD at the University of Edinburgh while employed as an experimental neuropathologist. Returning to the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra, I focused on cell-mediated immunity, started to work seriously with mice, and thus became both an immunologist and a basic medical scientist. It was there in 1973 that Rolf Zinkernagel and I discovered MHC I–restricted CD8+ T cell recognition, a finding that, together with the “single T cell receptor/altered self” hypothesis that we developed to explain our results, led to the 1996 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Part of my focus since then has been to communicate the societal value and power of science to the broader community. As my scientific life is not yet over, I confine the present historical account to the twentieth century.


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