Doreen Cantrell

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Doreen Cantrell CBE, FRS, FRSE, FMedSci, is a scientist and Professor of Cellular Immunology at the University of Dundee. She was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 2011 for her work on immunology. She researches the development and activation T lymphocytes, which are key to the understanding the immune response.


Cantrell received her bachelor degree in Zoology in 1979 from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and her PhD in Immunology in the Cancer Research Campaign Laboratory at the University of Nottingham.


She made her first major contribution to the field in 1984, when she and Dr K A Smith published the first single cell analysis of lymphocyte proliferation.[1]

From 1987 to 2002, she was Head of the Lymphocyte Activation Laboratory at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute. In 2002, she became Head of the Division of Cell Biology and Immunology at Dundee University. She is Chair of the UK Medical Research Council’s Immunology and Infections panel.

She is a world expert on the function of T lymphocytes: the white blood cells which control the immune system and are consequently very important in understanding the progress of diseases and disease resistance.

Cantrell was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to life sciences.[2]

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  1. ^ Cantrell, D. A., & Smith, K. A. (1984). The interleukin-2 T-cell system: a new cell growth model. Science, 224(4655), 1312-1316.
  2. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60728. p. 8. 31 December 2013.