Details of Research Interests:
The principal work in the lab involved human cell-mediated immunity and tumour biology, primarily the study of natural killer (NK) and lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells in humans. While working as an MRC Centennial Fellow at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in the early seventies, I collaborated with graduate students Rolf Kiessling andÂ Mikael Jondal (in the labs of Eva Klein and Hans Wigzell) in the discovery of the cell type responsible for "spontaneous" cytotoxicity in mice and man, respectively. These were called "natural killer (NK) cells in mice, but it was some time before the term was accepted for human killer cells. Subsequent work in Canada focused on establishing that these cells were not an in vitro artifact, on developing the so-called K562 assay system and its quantification, and on working out the characteristics of the NK cell population in normal individuals and cancer patients. Later work examined the cytotoxic susceptibility of drug-resistant tumour cells to NK and LAK cells, and the effects of various clinically relevant or applicable agents on cytotoxic effector cell function, specifically - the effect of mycobacterial cell wall/DNA complex on NK cell activation and the effect of hypoxic environments on NK activity and target susceptibility.
The lab is now closed as I am retired. I am not accepting any new graduate students or post-doctoral fellows.
Over the last two decades I have been heavily involved in medical education, specifically the development of the "new" medical curriculum and the problem-based learning program at Queen's. Immunology teaching and the use of computer technology to optimize Immunology learning has also been a major interest.