Laureate Professor Peter Doherty

Peter Doherty
Laureate Professor Peter Doherty

Contact Details

Melbourne: Laureate Professor
The University of Melbourne
Department of Microbiology and Immunology,
at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
792 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
Telephone: +61 3 8344 7968
Fax: +61 3 9347 1540

Memphis: Member and Chairman (till 2001)
Department of Immunology 
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, Tennessee 38105 
Telephone: (901) 595-3470
Fax: (901) 595-3107

Other Doherty pages:

  1. Honours, awards, fellowships and medals
  2. Honorary Degrees
  3. Consultant activities
  4. Publications: Original articles
  5. Solicited reviews, book chapters and commentary

Academic Degrees

BVSc 1962 University of Queensland, Australia (Veterinary Science)
MVSc 1966 University of Queensland, Australia (Veterinary Science)
PhD 1970 University of Edinburgh, Scotland (Pathology)


Professor Peter Doherty shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1996 with Swiss colleague Rolf Zinkernagel, for their discovery of how the immune system recognises virus-infected cells. He was Australian of the Year in 1997, and has since been commuting between St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne. His research is mainly in the area of defence against viruses. He regularly devotes time to delivering public lectures, writing articles for newspapers and magazines and participating in radio discussions.

Peter Doherty graduated from the University of Queensland in Veterinary Science and became a veterinary officer. Moving to Scotland, he received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh Medical School. He is the first person with a veterinary qualification to win a Nobel Prize.

Peter is also the author of several books, including "The Beginners Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize", "A Light History of Hot Air", "Sentinel Chickens:What Birds Tell Us About our Health And Our World", "Pandemics" and "The Knowledge Wars".

Professional Appointments

1/1/72 to 31/5/75
Postdoctoral Fellow (6 months), Research Fellow, Department of Microbiology, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra

1/6/75 to 30/12/82
Associate Professor/Professor, The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1/1/82 to 31/3/88
Professor and Head, Department of Experimental Pathology, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra

1/4/88 to present
Member and Chairman (till 2001), Dept. of Immunology (Michael F. Tamer Chair of Biomedical Research), St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee (Emeritus from January 2017, but still holding the Tamer Chair)

1/7/02 to present
Laureate Professor, Dept of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Melbourne, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne

Professional Society Memberships

Australian Society for Immunology (F) {1993}
American Association of Pathologists {1988}
Neuroimmunology Society {2004}
American Association of Veterinary Immunologists (F) {1988}
Scandinavian Society of Immunology (F) {1998}
Australian Society for Medical Research (F) {1998}
American College of Veterinary Pathologists (F) {1988}
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (F) {1967}
(F) = Honorary Fellow, or equivalent

Research Interests

Cell-mediated immunity
T cell recognition and repertoire
Immunological tolerance
Viral immunology
Immune memory

Active Grant Support

N01-AI-70005 - 7 year NIH influenza Contract where Dr R.G. Webster (CIA), Peter Doherty (PI) and our component, which looks at H5N1 virus-associated immunopathology. $200KUS per annum as of January 24, 2007. An expansion of $188,071K per annum added for this project as of 12/6/08.

NHMRC Program Grant, No 1071916, Project Title: Limiting The Impact of Influenza
01/01/2015 – 31/12/2019 – $13,617,890 over five years. CI List: CIA - Prof Stephen Turner, CIB - Prof David Jackson, CIC - Prof Lorena Brown, CID - Prof Weisan Chen, CIE - A/Prof Katherine Kedzierska, CIF - A/Prof Nicole La Gruta & CIG Prof Peter Doherty.

Published Interview

  1. Suzanne Vogle, Discoveries Down Under.
    Journal of NIH Research (Re: Zinkernagel RM, Doherty PC.
    Restriction of in vitro T cell-mediated cytotoxicity in lymphocytic choriomeningitis within a syngeneic or semiallogeneic system Nature [Lond] 248:701-702, 1974) J NIH Res 3:68-72, 1991.

Reprint of Key Paper

  1. Zinkernagel RM, Doherty PC.
    Pillars Article: Immunological Surveillance against Altered Self Component by Sensitised T Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis.
    Nature, 1974, 251: 547-548.
    J Immunol 2004 Sep 1;173 (5) :2899-900.

Unpublished Theses

  1. Studies in the experimental pathology of louping-ill encephalitis. Edinburgh, 1970.
  2. The epizootiology of bovine leptospirosis. Queensland, 1966.


"The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize", Miegunyah Press, Melbourne University Publishing, September, 2005; Columbia University Press, NY, May 2006.

"A Light History of Hot Air", Miegunyah Press, Melbourne University Publishing, September, 2007.

"Sentinel Chickens: What Birds Tell Us About Our Health And Our World", Miegunyah Press, Melbourne University Publishing, July, 2012.

"Pandemics: What Everyone Needs to Know", The Experiment Publishing, NY, September, 2013.

"The Knowledge Wars" Miegunyah Press, Melbourne University Publishing, August 2015.


Parasite Immunology 1979-1982
Journal of Neuroimmunology 1980-
Journal of Immunology , Section Editor 1980-1982; 1990-1996
Infection and Immunity 1981-1984
Journal of Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 1983-1986
Journal of Virology 1984-1986; 1996-1999
Microbial Pathogenesis 1985
Archives of Virology 1986-198
Virology 1990-
Viral Immunology 1994-
Immunity 2000-
Editor for volume 4, No. 2 of Seminars in Immunology, 1992
Editor for volume 6, No. 4 of Current Opinion in Immunology, 1994


AAI seminar course in Advanced Immunology, Colorado Springs, 1991-1995


The following have successfully completed Ph.D. theses while working with me:

  1. R. M. Zinkernagel, March 1975 (ANU); Professor of Experimental Biology, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
  2. R. B. Effros, June 1978 (Wistar Institute); Professor, University of California at Los Angeles.
  3. J. R. Bennink, August 1978 (Wistar Institute); Chief, Viral Immunology Laboratory, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
  4. N. Greenspan, MD/PhD, July 1981 (Wistar Institute); Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH.
  5. D. Schwartz, MD/PhD, December 1982 (Wistar Institute); Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.
  6. N. Bowern, May 1986 (ANU); Commonwealth Department of Health, Canberra, Australia.
  7. J. Dixon, September 1987 (ANU); Postdoctoral Fellow, Suny, Stonybrook, New York
  8. Z. Tabi, September 1988 (ANU); Research Associate, University of Queensland, Australia.
  9. M. F. Uren, November 1988 (ANU); CSIRO Senior Research Scientist, Division of Tropical Sciences, Brisbane, Australia.
  10. X. Y. Mo, University of Tennessee, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Massachusetts.

Recent Publications (2010-current)

List of Publications prior to 2010

  1. Rutigliano JA, Morris MY, Yue W, Keating R, Webby RJ, Thomas PG, Doherty PC. Protective memory responses are modulated by priming events prior to challenge. J Virol 2010 Jan; 84(2): 1047-56.
  2. Juelich T, Sutcliffe E, Denton A, He Y, Doherty PC, Parish C, Turner SJ, Tremethick D, Rao S. Interplay between Chromatin Remodeling and Epigenetic Changes during Lineage-Specific Commitment to Granzyme B Expression. J Immunol 2010 Dec 1; 183(11): 7063-7072.
  3. Thomas PG, Brown SA, Morris MY, Yue W, So J, Reynolds C, Webby RJ, Doherty PC. Physiological Numbers of CD4+ T Cells Generate Weak Recall Responses Following Influenza Virus Challenge. J Immunol 2010 Feb 15; 184(4): 1721-7.
  4. Theodossis A, Guillonneau C, Welland A, Ely LK, Clements CS, Williamson NA, Webb AI, Wilce JA, Mulder RJ, Dunstone MA, Doherty PC, McCluskey J, Purcell AW, Turner SJ, Rossjohn J. Constraints within major histocompatibility complex class I restricted peptides: Presentation and consequences for T-cell recognition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2010 March 23; 107(12): 5534-5539.
  5. La Gruta NL, Rothwell WT, Cukalac T, Swan NG, Valkenburg SA, Kedzierska K, Thomas PG, Doherty PC, Turner SJ. Primary CTL response magnitude in mice is determined by the extent of naive T cell recruitment and subsequent clonal expansion. J Clin Invest 2010 Jun 1; 120(6): 1885-94.
  6. Cukalac T, Valkenburg SA, La Gruta NL, Turner SJ, Doherty PC, Kedzierska K. Multiplexed combinatorial tetramer staining in a mouse model of virus infection. J Immunol Methods 2010; 360: 157-161.
  7. Gras S, Kedzierski L, Valkenburg SA, Laurie K, Liu YC, Denholm JT, Richards MJ, Rimmelzwaan GF, Kelso A, Doherty PC, Turner SJ, Rossjohn J, Kedzierska K. Cross-reactive CD8+ T-cell immunity between the pandemic H1N1-2009 and H1N1-1918 influenza A viruses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2010 July 12; 107(28): 12599-12604.
  8. Valkenburg SA, Day EB, Swan NG, Croom HA, Carbone FR, Doherty PC, Turner SJ, Kedzierska K. Fixing an irrelevant TCRalpha chain reveals the importance of TCRbeta diversity for optimal TCRalphabeta pairing and function of virus-specific CD8(+) T cells. Eur J Immunol 2010 Sep; 40(9): 2470-81.
  9. Valkenburg SA, Gras S, Guillonneau C, La Gruta NL, Thomas PG, Purcell AW, Rossjohn J, Doherty PC, Turner SJ, Kedzierska K. Protective Efficacy of Cross-Reactive CD8 T Cells Recognising Mutant Viral Epitopes Depends on Peptide-MHC-I Structural Interactions and T Cell Activation Threshold. PLoS Pathog 2010 Aug 12; 6(8). pii: e1001039.
  10. Moffat JM, Handel A, Doherty PC, Turner SJ, Thomas PG, La Gruta NL. Influenza Epitope-Specific CD8+ T Cell Avidity, but Not Cytokine Polyfunctionality, Can Be Determined by TCR{beta} Clonotype. J Immunol 2010 Dec 1; 185(11): 6850-6856.
  11. Dash P, McClaren JL, Oguin TH 3rd, Rothwell W, Todd B, Morris MY, Becksfort J, Reynolds C, Brown SA, Doherty PC, Thomas PG. Paired analysis of TCRα and TCRβ chains at the single-cell level in mice. J Clin Invest 2011 Jan 4; 121(1): 288-295.
  12. Croom HA, Denton AE, Valkenburg SA, Swan NG, Olson MR, Turner SJ, Doherty PC, Kedzierska K. Memory precursor phenotype of CD8(+) T cells reflects early antigenic experience rather than memory numbers in a model of localized acute influenza infection. Eur J Immunol 2011 Mar; 41(3): 682-93.
  13. Day EB, Charlton KL, La Gruta NL, Doherty PC, Turner SJ. Effect of MHC Class I Diversification on Influenza Epitope-Specific CD8+ T Cell Precursor Frequency and Subsequent Effector Function. J Immunol 2011 Jun 1; 186(11): 6319-28.
  14. Venturi V, Davenport MP, Swan NG, Doherty PC, Kedzierska K. Consequences of suboptimal priming are apparent for low-avidity T-cell responses. Immunol Cell Biol 2012 Feb; 90(2): 216-23.
  15. Wu C, Zanker D, Valkenburg S, Tan B, Kedzierska K, Zou QM, Doherty PC, Chen W. Systematic identification of immunodominant CD8+ T-cell responses to influenza A virus in HLA-A2 individuals. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2011 May 31; 108(22): 9178-9183.
  16. Day EB, Guillonneau C, Gras S, La Gruta NL, Vignali DA, Doherty PC, Purcell AW, Rossjohn J, Turner SJ. Structural basis for enabling T-cell receptor diversity within biased virus-specific CD8+ T-cell responses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2011 May 2; 108(23): 9536-9541.
  17. Denton AE, Russ BE, Doherty PC, Rao S, Turner SJ. Differentiation-dependent functional and epigenetic landscapes for cytokine genes in virus-specific CD8+ T cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2011 Sept 13; 108(37): 15306-15311.
  18. Denton AE, Wesselingh R, Gras S, Guillonneau C, Olson MR, Mintern JD, Zeng W, Jackson DC, Rossjohn J, Hodgkin PD, Doherty PC, Turner SJ. Affinity Thresholds for Naive CD8+ CTL Activation by Peptides and Engineered Influenza A Viruses. J Immunol 2011 Dec 1; 187(11): 5733-44.
  19. Valkenburg SA, Venturi V, Dang TH, Bird NL, Doherty PC, Turner SJ, Davenport MP, Kedzierska K. Early Priming Minimizes the Age-Related Immune Compromise of CD8 T Cell Diversity and Function. PLoS Pathog 2012 Feb; 8(2): e1002544. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002544. Epub 2012 Feb 23. Erratum in: PLoS Pathog. 2012 Mar;8(3). doi: 10.1371/annotation/e142f9de-7f30-4759-bda1-a651e86d5ba6.
  20. Kedzierska K, Curtis JM, Valkenburg SA, Hatton LA, Kiu H, Doherty PC, Kedzierski L. Induction of Protective CD4(+) T Cell-Mediated Immunity by a Leishmania Peptide Delivered in Recombinant Influenza Viruses. PLoS One 2012; 7(3):e33161.
  21. Wang GC, Dash P, McCullers JA, Doherty PC, Thomas PG. T Cell Receptor αβ Diversity Inversely Correlates with Pathogen-Specific Antibody Levels in Human Cytomegalovirus Infection. Sci Transl Med 2012 Apr 4; 4(128):128ra42.
  22. Kedzierska K, Valkenburg SA, Doherty PC, Davenport MP, Venturi V. Use it or lose it: establishment and persistence of T cell memory. Front Immunol 2012 Nov 3: 357.
  23. Thomas PG, Handel A, Doherty PC, La Gruta NL. Ecological analysis of antigen-specific CTL repertoires defines the relationship between naive and immune T-cell populations. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2013 Jan 29; 110(5): 1839-44.
  24. Sanders CJ, Vogel P, McClaren JL, Bajracharya R, Doherty PC, Thomas PG. Compromised respiratory function in lethal influenza infection is characterized by the depletion of type I alveolar epithelial cells beyond threshold levels. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2013 Apr; 304(7):L481-8.
  25. Valkenburg SA, Gras S, Guillonneau C, Hatton LA, Bird NA, Twist KA, Halim H, Jackson DC, Purcell AW, Turner SJ, Doherty PC, Rossjohn J, Kedzierska K. Preemptive priming readily overcomes structure-based mechanisms of virus escape. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2013 Apr 2; 110(14): 5570-5.
  26. Lupfer C, Thomas PG, Anand PK, Vogel P, Milasta S, Martinez J, Huang G, Green M, Kundu M, Chi H, Xavier RJ, Green DR, Lamkanfi M, Dinarello CA, Doherty PC, Kanneganti TD. Receptor interacting protein kinase 2-mediated mitophagy regulates inflammasome activation during virus infection. Nat Immunol 2013 May; 14(5): 480-8.