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Editor-in-chief of the new Immunogenetics journal


Presenting the H2 locus model in Asilomar
Jan Klein Scientist
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I presented the H2 locus model at the Asilomar meeting. I should say that there were two other groups later that came to the same conclusion, one was Snell and Peter Demant and others, and another was Thorsby. We all agreed it was the right, correct interpretation and it was generally accepted so... very rapidly. So, at the Asilomar meeting there was... clear to everybody that there were some genes probably far apart which controlled antigens on erythrocytes and all kinds of other tissues. There were the classical H2 antigens and there, between them, was something unknown. One of them was the gene that controls some protein, which was of known function and the other was the IR gene, IR1 gene of McDevitt, and a number of other genes discovered by other... or genes... genes controlling other immune responses, mapping more or less into that same region. And that was what really electrocise... is that the right word?

[Q] Electrify.

Electrify, it's correct, sorry, electrified the audience and the immunologists and everybody realized well, there is something very... terribly important in the middle between these two genes and the question was what was it, what was it doing, how to get it?

Born in 1936, Jan Klein is a Czech-American immunologist who co-founded the modern science of immunogenetics – key to understanding illness and disease. He is the author or co-author of over 560 scientific publications and of seven books including 'Where Do We Come From?' which examines the molecular evolution of humans. He graduated from the Charles University at Prague in 1955, and received his MS in Botany from the same school in 1958. From 1977 to his retirement in 2004, he was the Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biology at Tübingen, Germany.

Listeners: Colm O'hUigin

Colm O'hUigin is a senior staff scientist at the US National Cancer Institute. He received his BA, MSc and PhD at the Genetics Department of Trinity College, Dublin where he later returned as a lecturer. He has held appointments at the Center for Population and Demographic Genetics, UT Houston, and at the University of Cambridge. As an EMBO fellow, he moved in 1990 to the Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tübingen, Germany to work with Jan Klein and lead a research group studying the evolutionary origins of immune molecules, of teeth, trypanosomes and of species.

Tags: George Davis Snell, Peter Demant, Erik Stein Thorsby

Duration: 2 minutes, 17 seconds

Date story recorded: August 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008