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Askonas Professor of Translational Immunology

Smiling woman with short black hair and square-framed glassesProfessor Tao Dong, Supernumerary Fellow, has been appointed the Brigitte (Ita) Askonas Professor of Translational Immunology. Tao is Professor of Immunology at the MRC Human Immunology Unit and Founding Director of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) Oxford Institute (COI).

Brigitte Askonas was the first scientist to isolate and clone T cells. Her research paved the way for understanding viral antigen presentation to T cells, which is a foundation of T cell immunology research.

Tao Dong is the founding director of the CAMS-Oxford Institute based in Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford University since 2019. She has held the post of Professor of Immunology in the MRC Human Immunology Unit at Oxford University since 2014 and is a Senior Fellow at University College Oxford. In May 2023, Tao was appointed the Ita Askonas Professorship of Translational Immunology.

Tao moved to Oxford University in 1993 where she received a DPhil degree in Immunology in 1998. In 2010 she became the Head of the human anti-viral and anti-cancer cytotoxic T cell laboratory and subsequently Program Leader in the MRC Human Immunology Unit at Oxford University. She has served as a panel member in various international funding organisations and a SAB member for several pharmaceutical companies.

Professor Tao Dong, commented, “I am thrilled to receive this Professorship named after Ita. It means a lot to me, and I am grateful for the recognition not just for me but also my lab members and colleagues in Oxford and China. Ita was my mentor for 10 years at the most critical stage of my career, I genuinely think I would not have made it without her advice and encouragement over the years. It has been 10 years since she left us in January 2013, but somehow, I feel she is still with me and often ask myself what would Ita say when I need help and advice.”

Published: 15 August 2023

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