Doherty, Peter C. 1940-

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Doherty, Peter C. 1940-


Born October 15, 1940, in Australia. Education: University of Edinburgh, Ph.D.


Office—Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, MS 351, Rm. E7055, 332 N. Lauderdale, Memphis, TN 38105- 2794; fax: 901-495-3107. E-mail—[email protected]


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, faculty member, Michael F. Tamer Chair of Biomedical Research, and coleader of the infection and host defense program team.


Nobel Prize for medicine, 1996, for discoveries concerning the specificity of the cell-mediated immune defense (shared with Rolf M. Zinkernagel).


The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to numerous scholarly periodicals, including Immunological Reviews, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, and the Journal of Immunology.


Peter C. Doherty is best known as a 1996 winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine. Doherty and his colleague, Rolf M. Zinkernagel, shared the prize for their work on understanding the functioning of the immune system. Doherty and Zinkernagel showed that cytotoxic T cells, a part of the immune system that kills cells that have been infected by viruses, use proteins on the surface of cells to distinguish those that have been infected by viruses from those that have not. The infected cells contain both proteins related to the virus and proteins determined by the animal's own DNA; the T cells will kill only cells that display both of those specific proteins.

Doherty discusses this work in his memoir, The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize. He also covers many other topics, including the history and future of research in immunology, the day-to-day life of a scientist, and the experience of becoming overnight a sought-after public speaker and advocate for science after winning the prize. "His inspiring account of laboratory science should be recommended reading for anyone considering a career in research," Peter D. Smith wrote in London's Independent newspaper. "His enthusiasm is contagious and his idealism laudable."



Bernama: Malaysian National News Agency, August 21, 2001, "Proper Vaccination Vital to Combat Viral Infection, Says Nobel Laureate."

Independent (London, England), July 6, 2006, Peter D. Smith, review of The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize.

Medical Journal of Australia, March 20, 2006, Martin B. Van Der Weyden, review of The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize, p. 296.

New Straits Times (Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia), August 23, 2001, "Don't Be Afraid of Looking Like a Fool."

Science News, October 12, 1996, John Travis, "Nobel Prize Honors Insight into Immunity," p. 229.


Nobel Prize Internet Archive, (September 19, 2006), "Peter C. Doherty."

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Web site, (September 19, 2006), "Peter C. Doherty, Ph.D."