Andrew McMichael is a doctor and immunologist who researches the human immune response. Andrew has made a major contribution to our understanding of blood cells known as T cells and their role in the response of the immune system to viral infection.
Andrew’s work focuses on the response of T cells to viruses. He was the first to show that viral protein fragments — peptides — are presented to T cells by HLA proteins on the surface of virally infected cells. This activity enables the immune system to recognise that the cell has been infected and should therefore mount an attack.
The team that Andrew now heads works on vaccine development for both influenza and HIV; their HIV vaccines have now successfully entered clinical trials. Andrew is also working on ways of measuring the level of immune response that is protective against HIV. He has won a number of international awards during his career and was knighted for services to medical science in 2008.