A History of Modern Immunology

The Path Toward Understanding


  • Zoltan Nagy, DVM, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Immunology

A History of Modern Immunology: A Path Toward Understanding describes, analyzes, and conceptualizes several seminal events and discoveries in immunology in the last third of the 20th century, the era when most questions about the biology of the immune system were raised and also found their answers. Written by an eyewitness to this history, the book gives insight into personal aspects of the important figures in the discipline, and its data driven emphasis on understanding will benefit both young and experienced scientists.

This book provides a concise introduction to topics including immunological specificity, antibody diversity, monoclonal antibodies, major histocompatibility complex, antigen presentation, T cell biology, immunological tolerance, and autoimmune disease. This broad background of the discipline of immunology is a valuable companion for students of immunology, research and clinical immunologists, and research managers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

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research immunologists, immunology students from Master to PhD, secondary audience comprises clinical immunologists to help them connect basic immunology, research managers in pharma and biotech industry.


Book information

  • Published: November 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-416974-6


“…introduces each of the ten sections with some level of background or historical context, beginning with the discovery of DNA rearrangement in the generation of antibody diversity and finishing with the concepts of immune tolerance and autoimmunity…also explains the significance of specific experiments. Summing Up: Recommended.”--CHOICE, July 2014

"An immunology industry insider surveys the recent history of the branch of life sciences that studies immune system functions and summarizes major discoveries resulting from immunological research conducted since 1970. The chronicle describes the clarification of immunoglobulin structure, the interaction of antibody with antigen, the mechanisms for generation of antibody diversity, the T-cell antigen receptor, and the nature of its ligand.."--ProtoView.com, January 2014

Table of Contents

Introductory Words about Science, Scientists, and Immunology

Part One: Pre-History with Far-reaching Consequences

1 The immunological revolution

Part Two: The History

2 A very special location: the basel institute for immunology

3 Immunological specificity

4 Monoclonal antibodies: the final proof for clonal selection

5 The first victory of molecular biology: mechanisms of the generation of antibody diversity

6 The major histocompatibility complex

7 Antigen processing and presentation

8 The intricate behaviour of t cells

9 Acquired immunological tolerance

10 Autoimmunity

Concluding Remarks