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Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2011;27:1-23. doi: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-092910-154203. Epub 2011 May 12.

Looking back.

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  • 1Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom.


In this Perspective, I review my scientific career, which began after I trained in medicine in Montreal and in neurology in Boston. I started in immunology in London with Avrion Mitchison, using antibodies against cell-surface antigens to study the development and functions of mouse T and B cells. The finding that antibody binding causes immunoglobulin on B cells to redistribute rapidly on the cell surface and be endocytosed transformed me from an immunologist into a cell biologist. I moved with Mitchison to University College London, where my colleagues and I used the antibody approach to study cells of the rodent nervous system, focusing on the intrinsic and extrinsic molecular mechanisms that control the development and behavior of myelinating glial cells-Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes. I retired from active research in 2002 and now spend much of my time on scientific advisory boards and thinking about autism.

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