Reference numberEC/1994/44
TitleMcDevitt, Hugh O'Neill: certificate of election to the Royal Society
DescriptionCertificate of Candidate for Election to Foreign Membership. Citation typed
CitationHugh McDevitt is distinguished for his extensive research which has been seminal for our understanding of the genetic control of immune responsiveness. His novel discovery in 1968 established that histocompatibility antigens were involved in immune responsiveness other than as target antigens in transplantation. The findings (that the ability of inbred mouse strains to respond to synthetic antigens was linked the MHC genes) has had a great impact on immunological thinking and experimentation. He wasa leader in defining the MHC class II genes and their remarkable polymorphism in man and mouse. He also discovered the invariant chain associated with class II synthesis. A collaborative study with W.F. Bodmer demonstrated that susceptibility to lupus erythematosis was linked to particular MHC genotypes. Other autoimmune disorders also are now known to be associated with particular class II MHC alleles and possible future therapies are being examined. He has also, more recently pioneered studies on the use of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of autoimmune Disease.
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