Ray David Owen
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Ray David Owen was a teacher and scientist whose discovery of unusual, “mixed,” red blood cell types in cattle twins in 1945 launched the fields of modern immunology and organ transplantation. Owen's 1945 findings were published in the journal Science. This observation demonstrated that self was “learned” by the immune system during development and paved the way for research involving induction of immune tolerance and early tissue grafting. When Frank Macfarlane Burnet and Sir Peter Brian Medawar were awarded their 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of acquired immunological tolerance, Owen was not mentioned in the prize. However, in a letter to Owen, Medawar stated that he believed Owen should have also been included in the prize. Owen also led the successful effort to admit women as California Institute of Technology undergraduates.
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