Elizabeth Simpson (biologist)

Elizabeth Simpson
Born London, England
Nationality British
Institutions Imperial College London
Alma mater University of Cambridge
Notable awards OBE FRS FMedSci

Elizabeth Simpson OBE FRS FMedSci is a British biologist. She is Emeritus Professor of Transplantation Biology, Imperial College London. Simpson is particularly known for her elucidation of the nature of male-associated minor transplantation antigens, and their roles in the generation of immunological tolerance, graft versus host disease, and transplant rejection.[1]

Life and education

Elizabeth Simpson was born in London, England.[2] She obtained her undergraduate degree and professional training at the University of Cambridge, graduating in 1963 as a veterinarian. She then started working in Canada for three years as a veterinary surgeon in private practice and then as a government virologist. In 1966, she returned to England and after three years as an assistant lecturer in animal pathology at Cambridge she moved to the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in London.[2] Elizabeth then relocated to the Medical Research Council's Clinical Research Centre in Harrow, transferring to the Clinical Sciences Centre at the Hammersmith Hospital in 1994. Although she was from London, she has spent many summers at the Jackson Laboratory in Maine and a year at the National Cancer Institute. Currently, she is the deputy director of the Clinical Sciences Centre.[2]


Elizabeth specializes in cellular immunology.[2] She has made significant contributions to the area of minor histocompatibility antigens, showing that male-specific cytotoxic T cells recognize self-MHC and products of genes on the Y chromosome. She then carried out the molecular identification of the HY genes and the peptide epitopes they encode. She is now using information to address fundamental questions, such as T cell-repertoire selection and immunodominance, and to devise models for investigating modulation of in vivo haematopoietic stem cells.[2]

Awards and honours

Order of the British Empire, 2001


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