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In this overview of my research, I have aimed to give the background as to how I came to be involved in my various areas of interest, with an emphasis on the early phases of my career, which largely determined my future directions. I had the enormous good fortune to have worked under two of the most outstanding scientists of the twentieth century, R.A. Fisher and Joshua Lederberg. From mathematics and statistics, I went to population genetics and the early use of computers for modeling and simulation. Molecular biology took me into the laboratory and eventually to somatic cell genetics and human gene mapping. One chance encounter led me into the HLA field and another led me into research on cancer, especially colorectal cancer. On the way, I became a champion of the Human Genome Project and of the need for scientists to help promote the public understanding of science.

Original publication




Journal article


Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet

Publication Date





1 - 29


Autobiography, HLA, cancer, human genome project, linkage disequilibrium, somatic cell genetics, Autoimmune Diseases, Biostatistics, Chromosome Mapping, Genetics, Population, HLA Antigens, History, 20th Century, History, 21st Century, Human Genome Project, Humans, Mathematics, Models, Theoretical, Molecular Biology, Neoplasms, Primula, United Kingdom