Professor Ian Calman Muir MacLennan CBE FMedSci FRS
Emeritus Professor of Immunology, University of Birmingham MRC Centre for Immune Regulation
Ian MacLennan has made several landmark contributions to immunology and especially our understanding of antibody production. His classic experiments led him propose a role for germinal centres in affinity maturation of antibody responses by a process of hypermutation followed by antigen-mediated selection. Subsequently, he identified the basis of the multi-step selection process that protects against autoantibody production. He also first discovered marginal zone B cells and identified how they counter encapsulated bacterial infection. His early work revealed and characterized the cells now termed NK cells and their capacity to kill antibody-coated nucleated cells.