Peter Doherty shared the 1996 Nobel Medicine Prize with Swiss colleague Rolf Zinkernagel, for their discoveries about transplantation and “killer” T cell-mediated immunity, an understanding that is currently translating into new cancer treatments. The first veterinarian to win a Nobel, he was Australian of the Year in 1997. Still active in research on immunity to influenza, he commutes between St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis and the Peter Doherty Institute at the University of Melbourne, where he now spends most of his professional time. Apart from his scientific output 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, Sentinel Chickens: What Birds Tell us About our Health and our World and Pandemics: What Everyone Needs to Know. Passionate about promoting an evidence-based view of reality, his most recent book The Knowledge Wars is a “warts and all” view of science for non-scientists, even for people who don’t like science. It also suggests how any thoughtful citizen can bypass the facile propagandists and probe the scientific evidence for and against some of the big issues, like climate change or GM foods.
Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty explores all things infection and immunity in a weekly column, Setting it Straight, exclusive to the Doherty Institute website.