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Fellows Directory

Peter Cresswell

Professor Peter Cresswell FRS


Elected: 2000


Peter Cresswell is an immunologist whose research focuses on specific processing mechanisms that play a role in the antigen processing system — an integral function in the body’s immune response. Peter is also interested in the mechanisms by which interferons eliminate viral infection during the innate immune response, our first line of defence against invading pathogens.

Peter and his team focus on the functions of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and cluster of differentiation 1 (CD1) molecules, which bind peptides from foreign antigens and lipids, respectively. This binding process creates complexes that are recognised by the immune system and subsequently marked for removal by T cells from the body.

Peter cloned the TAP-associated glycoprotein, known as tapasin, which is essential for effective generation of MHC class I peptide complexes, and viperin — a critical component of the interferon-induced response to viral infection. For his research contributions, Peter was elected to the membership of several scientific societies, including the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Antigen processing and presentation, Major histocompatibility complex


  • Buchanan Medal

    For his outstanding contributions to immunology, in particular to our understanding of the processing of foreign protein antigens within cells to stimulate T-cell immune responses.