Professor, Nobel laureate, Australian of the Year and National Living Treasure
Professor Peter Doherty has been involved in research on infection and immunity for 50 years. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1996 with Swiss colleague Rolf Zinkernagel, for their discoveries concerning the specificity of the cell-mediated immune defence and the biological role of the MHC. Professor Doherty was the first person with a veterinary qualification to win a Nobel Prize and was Australian of the Year in 1997. Still active in science and involved in large grant-funded programs at both institutions, he commutes between St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne, where he now spends most of his time. His research over the past four decades has focused on T cell-mediated immunity in virus infections, particularly with respect to CD8+ “killer” T cell effector function and memory.
Apart from his published reviews and research papers that can be found on PubMed, he is the author of several “lay” books, including A Light History of Hot Air, The Beginners Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize, Their fate is Our Fate: How Birds Foretell Threats to our Health and the World and Pandemics: What Everyone Needs to Know.
His current focus is increasingly on the public communication of science and on defending an evidence-based view of the world.