Opening of Sir William Dunn School of Pathology
Head of Department Georges Dreyer
The building was erected following a bequest of £100,000 in 1922 from the Trustees set up in the will of Sir William Dunn who had died in 1912.
Howard Florey becomes Head of Department
Florey was originally from Australia, and initially came to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Later he moved from the University of Sheffield to take over as Head of the Dunn School.
First systemic administration of penicillin in man
The team at the Dunn School were the first to purify penicillin and to demonstrate its anti-bacterial effect in vivo. PC Albert Alexander was the first person to receive the drug. Although he initially improved, supplies of penicillin ran out and he succumbed to his infection.
Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine awarded to
Howard Florey and Ernst Chain
The dedicated work of the team of Florey, Chain and Heatley ushered in the age of modern medicine, and paved the way for drug discovery. It has been estimated that over 500 million lives have now been saved by penicillin.
Demonstration of lymphocyte recirculation by
The demonstration that lymphocytes, a key component of the immune system, recirculate from blood to lymph led to intense research to define the underlying mechanisms and the relevance of this phenomenon to immunisation and immunity against infectious agents.
Discovery of cephalosporin by
Edward Abraham and Guy Newton
Cephalosporins are the most prescribed antibiotics world-wide. The compound was purified at the Dunn School from a fungus originally isolated by Giuseppe Brotzu in Sardinia.
Henry Harris becomes Head of Department
Harris did his PhD with Florey, but subsequently worked on distinct topics including RNA metabolism and the pathogenesis of cancer. He returned to the Dunn School from the Department of Cell Biology at the John Innes Centre.
Cell fusion and tumour suppression by
Expression of recombinant Factor IX by
Recombinant factor IX is used for the treatment of certain forms of haemophilia (Haemophilia B), an inherited condition that that leads to excessive bleeding. Affected individuals are now treated with the purified factor instead of blood products which might contain dangerous infectious agents.
Election of Alan Williams as Head of Department, who sadly died before he could take up the post
Herman Waldmann becomes Head of Department
Waldmann moved to the Dunn School from the University of Cambridge where he was Head of Immunology. He defined the mechanisms of immunological tolerance, which is critical for successful transplantation. He identified antibodies that can be used to manipulate the immune system.
Establishment of reverse genetics for Influenza virus by
The establishment of a genetic system for influenza provided a breakthrough for rapidly generating vaccine strains that are needed to make the flu vaccine. The vaccine has to be made every year, based on up-to-date knowledge of circulating strains, so speed is of the essence.
Opening of EPA Building
The EPA building was opened by Sir Tim Hunt and is named in honour of Edward Abraham, who led the team to purify cephalosporin. The building contains the library, the EP Abraham Seminar Room, and canteen as well as laboratories and offices.
Opening of the Oxford Molecular Pathology Institute
This building offers state-of-the-art facilities for around 200 scientists over four floors.
Matthew Freeman becomes Head of Department
Matthew Freeman was at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge where he was the Head of the Division of Cell Biology. He works on the mechanisms by which cells signal to each other, and how this fundamental process influences development and immunity.
FDA approval of Alemtuzumab (developed by Herman Waldmann) for use in multiple sclerosis.
This antibody targets a molecule of lymphocytes which are an important component of the immune system. Alemtuzumab is now used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, certain forms of leukaemia, and during transplantation.