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One of the great things about science at the moment is the way people from different areas of research are now working together, says Nobel prize-winning scientist Professor Peter Doherty.
“It is a very exciting time,” Professor Doherty said.
“It is also a very collaborative time, we’re all interacting with everyone else.”
Professor Doherty was addressing a joint CSIRO/Deakin University seminar in Geelong in February which in itself was a sign of new collaborations between the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) and Deakin’s Medical School.
He was welcomed by Dr Martyn Jeggo, the head of AAHL, and thanked at the conclusion of his greatly applauded presentation by Dr Brendan Crotty, head of Deakin’s Medical School.
Professor Doherty told the packed AAHL auditorium about his own ground-breaking research that led to him and his colleague Rolf M. Zinkernagel receiving the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1996.
In his address “Immunity to Influenza” Professor Doherty spoke about his current research work, still active at the age of 70.
He also talked of the challenges that lie ahead for those seeking to grapple with future pandemics, noting that these challenges apply to politicians and business people as well as researchers.
“It doesn't just worry the scientists and the public health people” he said.
"It also worries the busines people and the politicians and the reason it worries them is because we know that the SARS outbreak, which in the end only killed about 800 people, but it caused $50 billion in economic damage because it shut down hotels, it shut down tourism and the airlines."