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Starting work on peripheral tolerance


Robin Coombs
Avrion Mitchison Scientist
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I read a paper on this to, probably, in those days it was before the Immunological Society, it would have been to the Society of Experimental Biology in Britain, and I was talking about it afterwards to Robin Coombs, and of course, what I'd been seeing was really the Coombs reaction, because his great claim to fame was the recognising antibodies stuck to red cells. And he said to me in a rather snooty way, well that just shows that you can never do science without clean reagents, and of course he was quite right- my feelings were just a tiny bit hurt by that. And then a little bit later, I was elected to the Royal Society and Coombs- I remember Coombs congratulating me beforehand, making it very clear in his congratulations, that he'd actually supported my candidature, which he shouldn't have done, but he did. So I was very touched by that.

Avrion Mitchison, the British zoologist, is currently Professor Emeritus at University College London and is best known for his work demonstrating the role of lymphocytes in tumour rejection and for the separate and cooperative roles of T- and B-lymphocytes in this and other processes.

Listeners: Martin Raff

Martin Raff is a Canadian-born neurologist and research biologist who has made important contributions to immunology and cell development. He has a special interest in apoptosis, the phenomenon of cell death.



Listen to Martin Raff at Web of Stories



Duration: 58 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008