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Fellows Directory

Hugh McDevitt

Hugh McDevitt

Professor Hugh McDevitt ForMemRS

Foreign Member

Elected: 1994


Hugh McDevitt was 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 was 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 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 was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was been elected to the US National Academy of Sciences. He also received a National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award.

Professor Hugh McDevitt ForMemRS died on 28 April 2022.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
    • Cellular and humoral immunology
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