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Sir Peter Brian Medawar

Medawar, Sir Peter Brian (mĕdˈəwär) [key], 1915–87, British zoologist, b. Brazil. After graduate work at Oxford, he held research and teaching posts there. He was professor of zoology (1947–51) at the Univ. of Birmingham and in 1951 became professor of zoology and comparative anatomy at University College, London. During World War II, he discovered a method for joining ends of severed nerves; he later became noted for his experimental work in transplanting living tissue from one body to another. Working on a theory proposed by Sir Macfarlane Burnet, he proved it was possible under certain circumstances for an organism to overcome its normal tendency to reject foreign tissue or organs. Medawar was awarded the 1960 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine jointly with Sir Macfarlane Burnet for this discovery of acquired immunological tolerance. He was knighted in 1965. A prolific writer, his works include The Art of the Soluble (1967), Advice to a Young Scientist (1979), and an autobiography (1986).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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