PROF Peter Doherty

PROF Peter Doherty


  • Innovation, liberal education and the role of science in society
  • Viral Immunity (CD8+ 'killer' T lymphocyte)



  • Professor Peter Doherty shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1996 with Swiss colleague Rolf Zinkernagel, for their discovery of how the immune system recognises virus-infected cells. He was Australian of the Year in 1997, and has since been commuting between St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne. His research is mainly in the area of defence against viruses. He regularly devotes time to delivering public lectures, writing articles for newspapers and magazines and participating in radio discussions.

    Peter Doherty graduated from the University of Queensland in Veterinary Science and became a veterinary officer.  Moving to Scotland, he received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh Medical School. He is the first person with a veterinary qualification to win a Nobel Prize.

    Peter is also the author of several books, including “The Beginners Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize”, “A Light History of Hot Air”, "Sentinel Chickens: What birds tell us about our health and the world", "Pandemics: What Everyone Needs to Know", "The Knowledge Wars" and "The incidental Tourist".   


Member of

  • Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons 1995 -
  • American College of Veterinary Pathologists. American College of Veterinary Pathologists 1994 -
  • Australian Society for Medical Research. Australian Society for Medical Research 1993 -
  • Scandinavian Society of Immunology. Scandinavian Society of Immunology 1992 -
  • American Association of Pathologists. American Assoication of Pathologists 1991 -
  • American Association of Veterinary Immunologists. American Association of Veterinary Immunologists 1991 -
  • Neuroimmunology Society. Neuroimmunology Society 1991 -
  • American Association of Immunologists. American Association of Immunologists 1990 -
  • Australian Society for Immunology. Australain Society for Immunology 1990 -


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • PhD, The University of Edinburgh 1970
  • MVSc, The University of Queensland 1966
  • BVSc, The University of Queensland 1962

Awards and honors

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2008
  • Member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science, Washington DC, USA, 2008
  • The Woodrow Wilson Award, Melbourne, 2007
  • Honorary Fellowship of The Literary and Historical Society of University College of Dublin, 2005
  • Curtin Medal, 2003
  • Centenary Medal, 2003
  • Associate Member of the Academy of Medicine, Paris, 2001
  • Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 1998
  • Foreign Associate, National Academy of Sciences, USA, 1998
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, Australia, 1998
  • Companion of the Order of Australia, AC, 1997
  • Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, 1996
  • Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, USA, 1995
  • Fellow of the Royal Society, 1987
  • Gairdner International Award for Medical Science, Canada, 1986
  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, 1983
  • Paul Ehrlich Prize, Germany, 1983



Available for supervision

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