Scientific Success

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Scientific Success of the Institute

The work of the Institute has developed very quickly since 1989.  Notable successes in the field of immunology, haematopoiesis stem cell biology, infectious diseases and human genetics are set out below. Our work has had major impact in understanding disease mechanisms and how to diagnose and treat both common (e.g. diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, malaria, thalassaemia, leukaemia, cystic fibrosis, meningitis and AIDS) and rare (a wide range of developmental disorders including neurological diseases and abnormal facial development) human diseases.




Major Scientific Breakthroughs by WIMM-Based Scientists


Discovery of the antigen processing pathway by which intracellular proteins are degraded to peptides presented on the cell surface by Class I histocompatibility proteins and identifying the transporter associated with antigen presentation.  Alain Townsend FRS and Vincenzo Cerundolo
Demonstrating that the HIV AIDS escapes CD8 T cells by mutation Rodney Phillips, Sarah Rowland Jones, and Andrew McMichael FRS
Identifying the roles of regulatory T cells and inflammatory cytokines in inflammatory bowel disease Fiona Powrie FRS
Infectious Diseases  
Discovery of the Var genes that enable the malarial parasite to avoid the immune system Chris Newbold
The development of Vaccines for pneumococcal and meningococcal meningitis Richard Moxon FRS
Oxygen Sensing  
Discovery of the pathway by which cells and tissues sense and adapt to the levels of oxygen  Peter Ratcliffe FRS, Chris Pugh and Patrick Maxwell
Rewriting the Haematopoietic Roadmap Sten Eirik Jacobsen
Establishing the molecular basis of thalassaemia and developing this as a model to illustrate the general principles underlying human molecular genetics David Weatherall FRS, John Clegg FRS and Doug Higgs FRS
Human Genetics  
Discovery of selfish selection of mutations in the testis and its links to paternal age effects in disease Andrew Wilkie FRS
Understanding the basis of genetic and Immune mediated neurological diseases Angela Vincent FRS, John Newsome-Davis FRS, David Beeson
Discovery of a major pathway that processes the products of genetic recombination Ian Hickson FRS
Identification of Many Key Human Disease Genes and their mechanisms of action Kay Davies FRS, Doug Higgs FRS, Peter Harris, Lars Fugger, Richard Gibbons, Peter Ratcliffe FRS, Ian Hickson FRS, Andrew Wilkie FRS