I am a basic cellular and molecular immunologist whose approach to immunology has been heavily influenced by experimental hematology, that is that lymphocytes are the progeny of hematopoietic stem cells and that their development follows many of the general rules of hematology. For my PhD (1980), carried out at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Australia in the group of Prof. Don Metcalf, I characterized the development of functional T lymphocytes in the thymus. For my post-doctoral studies (1980-85) at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Lausanne, Switzerland I was one of the first to combine flow cytometry, monoclonal antibodies and limiting dilution to quantify a T cell response in vitro. We also identified for the first time, early T cell progenitors in the thymus. In Canberra, Australia (1985-1989) I was responsible for establishing a functional flow cytometry facility at the John Curtin School of Medical Research. With Peter Doherty (Nobel Laureate), we dissected the inflammatory infiltrate in mouse lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection and showed that this immune response in vivo obeyed the now-accepted rules of MHC restriction. Whilst Professor of Immunology at the European School of Biotechnology, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France (1989-1994) in an institute directed by Prof. Pierre Chambon, I learnt how molecular biology could impact on my own research interests. There, we generated a transgenic mouse over-expressing the cytokine Interleukin-7 (IL-7), a molecule involved both in lymphocyte development and survival. Since that time (1993), I have focused most of my research interest on IL-7. From 2003-2008, I was a guest scientist in the group of Prof. Ton Rolink at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Here, I collaborated with scientists in Basel investigating the immunological properties of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), the cells that constitute the research focus of REMEDI. Recently, with colleagues in Birmingham and Basel, I have become interested in more general aspects of lymphocyte development and hematopoietic lineage commitment.
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