Sir Marc Feldmann AC FAA FRS FRCP FRCPath FMedSci
Professor Sir Marc Feldmann is a pre-eminent medically trained immunologist at the University of Oxford where he was Head of the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology until 2014 and now Emeritus Professor. He trained in medicine at Melbourne University and then earned a Ph.D. in Immunology at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute with Sir Gus Nossal, before working in London at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. Sir Feldmann’s main research interests are immunoregulation, understanding mechanisms of autoimmunity and the role of cytokines in disease, and working out how to fill unmet medical needs.
His work in London led to the generation of a new hypothesis for the mechanism of autoimmunity, linking upregulated antigen presentation and cytokine expression. Testing this hypothesis led to the discovery, with colleague Sir Ravinder Maini, of the pivotal role of TNFα (Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha) in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. This major discovery has therapy not only of rheumatoid arthritis but other chronic inflammatory diseases (eg Inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis), and helped change the perception of monoclonal antibodies from niche products to mainstream therapeutics. Anti-TNF therapeutics are the current leading drug class with 2016 sales exceeding $36 Billion.
This has led to much scientific recognition, for example election to the Royal Society and Academy of Medical Sciences in London, the National Academy of Sciences USA and the Australian Academy of Science, and multiple major International prizes: including the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Albert Lasker Clinical Research Award (NY), the Ernst Schering Prize , the Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research and the Canada-Gairdner Award. He was also the first recipient in biology or medicine of the EU/ European Patent Inventor of the Year Award in the Lifetime Achievement category. In addition, Sir Marc has advised more than 20 of the largest pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the world and has mentored some of the most successful scientists, many of whom have become senior figures in the commercial pharmaceutical world. Sir Marc was knighted in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday and was in Australia with the knighthood equivalent, the Companion of the Order of Australia.