N. Avrion Mitchison

University of London


Election Year: 1990
Primary Section: 43, Immunology and Inflammation
Secondary Section: 26, Genetics
Membership Type: Foreign Associate

Research Interests

My research interests are in immunology, a field where I have been working since 1948. I was trained at Oxford by Peter Medawar, awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of immunological tolerance. My main contributions have been in the same field. In addition, I have worked extensively on tissue transplantation, immunoregulation, and immunogenetics. More recently I have become interested in rheumatology, during the period 1990-1997 which I spent as the founding scientific director of the German Rheumatology Research Centre in Berlin. Within that field I was responsible for a clinical trial of oral tolerance as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. I have also been publishing the field of population genetics, with special reference to gene-promoter polymorphism. This form of polymorphism is important in determining cytokine balance. Thus my group has recently discovered that allelic substitution of promoters within the major histocompatibility complex can bring about immune deviation (a shift in the Th1/Th2 ratio).

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