AstraZeneca and Nobel Media bring Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty to India

Monday, 12 March 2012


AstraZeneca, a global innovation-driven biopharmaceutical company, and Nobel Media AB, the company responsible for managing and developing media rights in connection with the Nobel Prize, today bring 1996 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine Professor Peter Charles Doherty to the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore. Professor Doherty’s thought-provoking address to students and staff at the IISc, entitled “Science Protects Humanity: Adventures in Infection and Immunity”, is just one component of a two-day programme of events that marks the AstraZeneca Nobel Medicine Initiative’s first visit to India.

During his visit, Professor Doherty will lecture at both the IISc and the AstraZeneca facility in Bangalore, providing a rare and unique opportunity for students, researchers and the general public to interact directly with him.

The AstraZeneca Nobel Medicine Initiative is a global cooperation to bring the inspiring achievements of Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine to the attention of a worldwide audience. The goal of the initiative is to inspire the scientific community and others by sharing information on Nobel Prize awarded achievements and demonstrating how such discoveries are critical to advancing our understanding of how the human body works.

Peter Doherty and fellow recipient Rolf Zinkernagel were awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of how the immune system recognizes virus-infected cells. Findings from their research have, in turn, laid the foundation for understanding the general mechanisms used by the cellular immune system to recognize both foreign microorganisms and the body’s own molecules, making their work highly relevant to clinical medicine.

Speaking about his visit, Professor Doherty said, “I'm delighted to be participating in the AstraZeneca Nobel Medicine Initiative’s first event in India. Bangalore is a thriving hub of research in both the educational and commercial sectors, and I look forward to discussing my Nobel Prize awarded research with students at the Indian Institute of Science, and staff at AstraZeneca India. My lectures will focus on some of the issues and problems facing infectious disease research, how science-based solutions could inform social policy, and what the future might hold for therapeutics and vaccines.”

“Professor Doherty’s work in infection resonates strongly with us at AstraZeneca,” said Dr. Manos Perros, Vice President and Head of AstraZeneca’s Infection Innovative Medicines Unit. “In particular, an important part of our R&D efforts in Bangalore are focused on tuberculosis (TB) where we collaborate with local and global partners in the development of medicines to treat this disease in both its drug sensitive and drug resistant forms.”

Dr Sudhir Nambiar, AstraZeneca’s Vice President R&D Bangalore added, “As a global, innovation-driven and research-based company, we greatly value the spirit of innovation and collaboration. We are therefore delighted to collaborate with Nobel Media and the Indian Institute of Science to give students and researchers the chance to communicate with Professor Doherty directly, thereby spreading the principles of innovation.”

“At AstraZeneca we believe that the world-class scientific talents in India and across Asia are set to become leaders of innovation in medical science,” said Dr Steve Yang, AstraZeneca’s Vice President and Head of R&D for Asia & Emerging Markets. “The AstraZeneca Nobel Media Initiative provides an excellent platform for some of that talent to learn from the experiences of Nobel Laureates like Professor Doherty. Hopefully, it will motivate them to accelerate their efforts and enhance their interest in innovation.”

Speaking about the initiative, Camilla Hyltén-Cavallius, CEO of Nobel Media, said, "We are truly happy to bring the AstraZeneca Nobel Medicine Initiative lecture programme to Bangalore, India. In previous lecture events in China, the United States and the United Kingdom, engaging interactions with Nobel Laureates in Medicine have been greatly appreciated, and we hope that the students and researchers in Bangalore will learn from and be inspired by Professor Doherty’s Nobel Prize awarded work.”

About Nobel Laureate, Peter Doherty

Peter Doherty shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering the nature of the cellular immune defence. Based at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and also spending part of his year at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, United States, he continues to be involved in research directed at understanding and preventing the severe consequences of influenza virus infection. In addition, he goes in to bat for evidence-based reality, relating to areas as diverse as childhood vaccination, global hunger and anthropogenic climate change. In an effort to communicate more broadly, he has published two “lay” books, and has two more in progress.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit:

About Nobel Media AB

Nobel Media AB aims to spread knowledge and interest in the Nobel Prize awarded achievements to a global audience, through digital and broadcast media, publishing and events. Included in Nobel Media’s portfolio is, the official web site of the Nobel Prize, which currently receives over 45 million visitors. Production of official television programmes consists of The Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo, The Nobel Banquet, Nobel Documentaries, Nobel Minds, Nobel Laureates and the Nobel Prize Concert. Through these programmes, over 250 million viewers are reached all over the world. For more information please visit:
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Disclaimer: Nobel Media AB is not directly nor indirectly involved in the process of nominating or selecting Nobel Laureates. These procedures are strictly confidential and regulated by the Nobel Prize awarding institutions.

For further information, contact:
Rushitha Samavedam
Contact: +91 9535388406

V. Thilagam
Public Relations Officer, IISc,
Contact: +91 8022932504

Vince Docherty
R&D Communications Asia
Mobile: +852 9470 5983

Merci Olsson
Nobel Media AB
Marketing and Communications Director
Tel: +46 738 523595