Peter Doherty shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for research that uncovered how T cells, part of our immune system, are able to recognise and kill virus infected cells. The discovery that our immune system can tell the difference between ‘self’ and an ‘altered self’ has not only provided an important basis for vaccines and medicines for infectious diseases, but also for inflammatory diseases and cancer.
Misty Jenkins, one of Doherty’s former students, has pushed the research forward. She currently researches how these T cells kill cancer cells. This area of work is showing much promise for new cancer treatments.
Join an informal discussion, in which Peter and Misty will reflect on the legacy of their discoveries, and consider the fascinating future possibilities of using T cells to recognise ‘self’ and the ‘altered self’.
Laureate Professor Peter Doherty shared the 1996 Nobel Medicine Prize with Swiss colleague Rolf Zinkernagel for discovering the nature of the cellular immune defense. Based at the Doherty Institute, and also spending part of his year at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (SJCRH), Memphis, USA, he continues to be involved in research directed at understanding and preventing the severe consequences of influenza virus infection. In addition, he goes in to bat for evidence-based reality, relating to areas as diverse as childhood vaccination, global hunger and anthropogenic climate change. In an effort to communicate more broadly, he has published five “lay” books.
Dr Misty Jenkins is a NHMRC fellow and laboratory head at the Walter Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research, in Melbourne. Misty researches in the area of immunology and cell biology, and understanding how immune cells kill cancer cells. She has been a Fellow of The University of Cambridge, was the 2012 National Association of Research Fellows Investigator of the year, was awarded the L’Oreal for Women in Science Fellowship in 2013, and was awarded the Tall Poppy of the year award for science (Victoria) in 2015. In addition to her research career, Misty is a passionate and engaging public speaker about the sciences and is involved with various programs aimed at increasing young people’s enthusiasm for science and education, particularly Indigenous students.