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Fellows Directory

Hugh McDevitt

Professor Hugh McDevitt ForMemRS

Foreign Member

Elected: 1994


Hugh McDevitt is a microbiologist and immunologist who was the first to discover genes involved in the immune response. Hugh clarified the role of molecules on the surface of cells, known as histocompatibility molecules, explaining how they recognise substances as being foreign to the body and subsequently regulate the immune response.

His research is focused on the role in autoimmunity of specialised blood cells called T cells and the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). The MHC is a set of molecules on the surface of cells that control the immune system. He has investigated several autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, which he revealed was linked to particular MHC genes.

A winner of many awards, Hugh is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has been elected to the US National Academy of Sciences. He has also received a National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award and continues to research the development of T cells and their role in immunity.

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