Ann B. Hill

Born: August 10, 1954 | Melbourne, AU

Ann B. Hill was raised in Sydney, Australia. She studied medicine at the University of New South Wales and interned at Sydney Hospital with a specialization in internal medicine. She continued to train in clinical immunology at St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, where she also set up an immunology clinic for AIDS patients. Wanting to combine clinical medicine and scientific research, Hill returned to the Australian National University for her doctoral degree, working in Arno Mullbacher's laboratory on immunodominance and cytotoxic T-cell response to flaviviruses. After winning the Oxford Nuffield Dominions Medical Fellowship she attended Oxford University, researching HLA-B51, cross-presentation, and immuno-evasion. A postdoc at Massachusetts Institute of Technology proved quite influential scientifically and Hill continues work on immune-evasion at Oregon Health Sciences University.

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Interview Details

Interview no.: Oral History 0473
No. of pages: 111
Minutes: 400

Interview Sessions

William Van Benschoten
5-7 August 2002
Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, Oregon

Abstract of Interview

Ann B. Hill was born in Melbourne, but was raised primarily in Sydney, Australia, the second youngest of four children. Her father took advantage of opportunities for returning soldiers after the Second World War and pursued a degree in electronic engineering; her mother worked as a teacher until her children were born. Hill was a voracious reader throughout her childhood; she did not develop an interest in science until high school. She had a number of influential educators in her life, including teachers, principals, and family members. Ultimately she decided to study medicine at the University of New South Wales. She participated in a summer research program in Robert V. Blanden's laboratory at the Australian National University before interning at Sydney Hospital with a specialization in internal medicine. She continued to train in clinical immunology at St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, where she also worked to set up an immunology clinic for AIDS patients. Wanting to combine clinical medicine and scientific research, Hill returned to the Australian National University for her doctoral degree, working in Arno Mullbacher's laboratory on immunodominance and the cytotoxic T-cell response to flaviviruses. After winning the Oxford Nuffield Dominions Medical Fellowship she attended Oxford University as a postdoctoral fellow in Andrew J. McMichael's laboratory, researching HLA-B51, cross-presentation, and immuno-evasion. At the end of her postdoc, Hill took another postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Hidde L. Ploegh's lab to study immuno-evasion by herpes simplex viruses. This last postdoctoral fellowship proved quite influential scientifically and Hill continued work on immune-evasion as a member of the Oregon Health Sciences University. Hill used the remainder of the interview to reflect upon her own career, as well as various contemporary issues in scientific research and practice, like her decision to enter medicine rather than the humanities; the impact of her senior high school education on her career; patents and the privatization of scientific research; and competition in science. She ends the interview with thoughts about her family and the role that the Pew Scholars Program in Biomedical Sciences has played and continues to play in her work.

Education

Year Institution Degree Discipline
1979 University of New South Wales BS
1979 University of New South Wales MB
1989 Australian National University PhD

Professional Experience

St. Vincent's Hospital

1984
Research Fellow

MIT Center for Cancer Research

1994 to 1995
Posdoctoral Associate, Laboratory of Professor Hidde Ploegh, Department of Biology

Oregon Health and Science University

1996 to 2004
Assistant Professor, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
2004
Associate Professor, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

Honors

Year(s) Award
1976

Vacation Scholarship, the John Curtin School of Medical Research,The Australian National University

1990 to 1994

Oxford Nuffield Dominions Medical Fellow, Molecular Immunology
Group, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford Laboratory of
Professor A. McMichael

1993

The Royal Society Travelling Fellowship to Japan

1995

The Arthritis Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship

1996

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Award, American Heart Association, Oregon Affiliate

1997 to 2001

Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences Grant

2016

Pew Science and Society Institute: 3rd cohort

Table of Contents

Early Years
1

Family background. Parents. Siblings. Reading. Religion. Junior high and high school education. The Australian educational system. High school science classes. Influential teachers. Parental expectations. Studies medicine at the University of New South Wales. Summer research program in Robert V. Blanden's laboratory at Australian National University. Intern at Sydney Hospital. Internal medicine. Clinical immunology.

The Practice of Medicine, Graduate School, and Postdoctoral Studies
35

AIDS clinic at St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney. Australian National University for graduate school. Arno Mullbacher. Combining clinical medicine and scientific research. Research on immunodominance and the cytotoxic T-cell response to flaviviruses. Oxford Nuffield Dominions Medical Fellowship. Attends Oxford University as a postdoctoral fellow in Andrew J. McMichael's Laboratory. Work on HLA-B5 1, cross-presentation, and immuno-evasion. Postdoctoral fellowship in Hidde L. Ploegh's laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Work on immuno-evasion by herpes simplex viruses.

Becoming a Principal Investigator
56

Position at Oregon Health Sciences University. Grant-writing process. Research on immuno-evasion. Practical applications of her work. Teaching duties. Writing journal articles. The impact of her senior high school education on her Career. Leisure activities. Future research plans. Privatization of scientific research. The biological revolution. Competition in science.

Final Thoughts
89

Collaborations. The national science agenda. Public debate about science. Tenure at Oregon Health Sciences University. Gender issues in science. Impact of the Pew Scholars Program in Biomedical Sciences. Relationship with her father. More on her childhood interests. More on her influential high school headmaster.

Index
108

About the Interviewer

William Van Benschoten