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Faculty of Veterinary Science

First and only veterinarian awarded the Nobel Prize to deliver Theiler Memorial Lecture at Veterinary Science Faculty Day on 27 August

By CvB

Posted on 25 August 2009

Prof Peter Doherty, Nobel Laureate 1996
Prof Peter Doherty, Nobel Laureate 1996

Prof Peter Doherty from the University of Melbourne's Department of Microbiology and Immunology, the first and only person with a veterinary qualification to be awarded a Nobel Prize, will provide the highlight of this year’s Faculty Day on 27 August when he will deliver the Arnold Theiler Memorial Lecture at the Onderstepoort campus of the Faculty of Veterinary Science.

In 1996 Prof Doherty (BVSc, MVSc, PhD) and Swiss colleague Rolf Zinkernagel were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of how the immune system recognizes virus-infected cells. This research has formed the foundation for investigations on the response of the immune system to various forms of cancer and invading microorganisms. In addition, their findings have been used in research on the effects of autoimmune reactions in inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatic conditions, multiple sclerosis and diabetes. In 1997, Prof Doherty was also named “Australian of the Year”. 

Appropriately titled Adventures in Infection and Immunity, Prof Doherty’s lecture will be delivered between 09:35 and 10:25 on Faculty Day. According to the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Prof Gerry Swan, the Faculty this year could not have chosen a more esteemed veterinary scholar and researcher for the Memorial Lecture than Prof Doherty. ‘He has shown that his training as veterinarian provided him with a sound scientific foundation from where he was able to launch his remarkable scientific career. This should serve as an inspiration to all veterinarians’, Prof Swan said.

Faculty Day 2009 will be an eclectic mix of research, education innovation and undergraduate student presentations, and will provide a forum for the exchange of information on the research projects in the Faculty of Veterinary Science.

During the day, the Faculty will also recognize its staff members by handing over the following awards:

Lecturer of the Year

Junior Lecturer of the Year

Nurse’s Lecturer of the Year

These awards are handed over based on votes by the student community at the Faculty, and are prestigious awards, keenly anticipated by the academic staff.

Three further awards namely Researcher of the Year, Young Researcher of the Year (teaching staff) and Young Researcher of the Year (non-teaching staff and students) are also made and are based on contributions towards veterinary and related research made by Faculty staff. The Faculty Research Committee adjudicates these awards, based on nominations submitted by the Faculty’s Departments.




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