My early research career has benefited greatly from chance and the right environment. It was not my intention to solve major problems in my postgraduate studies. I was simply interested in the possibility that a virus, discovered by Ludwik Gross in the United States, was involved in the pathogenesis of mouse leukaemia. Although I had no plans to work on immunological problems, I was very much influenced by lectures given by two giants in medical research — Peter Medawar (who, along with Macfarlane Burnet, was awarded the 1960 Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine for their contributions to immunology) and James Gowans (who was Professor of Experimental Pathology at Oxford). Both were responsible for elucidating the phenomenon of immunological tolerance and the function of recirculating small lymphocytes. Their expositions helped me greatly in my subsequent work on the immune system.
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