I am a human geneticist and cancer researcher. I live with my Daughter who rides horses and my wife visits me every 6-8 weeks from Californian where she leaves and I go to her very 6 – 8 weeks for about 2 weeks at a time.
I am quite old but still working actively.
Play the piano for relaxation.
I was born in Frankfurt, but because my father was Jewish Germany had to leave Germany in 1938 when I was just 2years and 6 moths old. I went to school in Manchester and studied Maths at Cambridge university. But then I became fascinated by statistics and genetics and did my PhD with one of the world’s greatest scientists of the 20th Century, Sir Ronald Fisher. He was the founder of modern statistics and an outstanding geneticist. After a period of time Stanford University with another outstanding scientist, Joshua Lederberg , who got a Nobel prize for showing how you can do genetics with bacteria, I returned to England with my family and, when I was on the young side, became a professor of genetics in Oxford University. I later became involved in cancer research which has subsequently been my main interest. I have also been very involved in promoting the public understanding of science and public engagement with scientists.
My pronouns are:
I now mainly study how cancers different genetically from normal cells and develop new approaches to the treatment of cancers using the body’s immune system to attack cancer instead of viruses and other infections.
I have previously done a lot of work on how the body’s immune system recognises “foreignness”. It is this recognition that means you have to match transplant donors with their recipients because we are mostly quite different genetically with respect to our inherited tissue types.
I also do some mathematical modelling of cancer progression and have done studies on the genetic variability of human populations. That can help us to say something about our genetic origins.
My Typical Day:
Much of my day is spent answering emails and dealing with scientific questions and writing and judging scientific papers and advising the people work in my laboratory about their work. I won work quite a lot at home using my computer.
What I'd do with the prize money:
I would give it back as at my age I am just happy to know that students enjoy talking to me.
I went to Manchester Grammar school and then Cambridge University.
Post doctoral fellow and then Professor at Stanford University.
I did the equivalent of GCSE O and A levels and then BA and a PhD.
When I was 50 years old I was Knighted for my contribution to science
Junior academic at Cambridge University, Professor of Genetics at Stanford and Oxford University. Director of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, in its day the largest cancer research charity. Then head of Hertford College, Oxford University. Now still head of a small laboratory in the Oxford University Medical school.
Emeritus Professor and Head of Laboratory, but not really employed any more.
Self employed but in Oxford University still.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Scientist through and through
What did you want to be after you left school?
I dod not know
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not to my knowledge
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I do what I choose to now anyway
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I like classical music so I do not have a favourite singer or band
What's your favourite food?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To not feel as old as I am