David Lane on New Knighthood
  David Lane     Biography    
Recorded: 04 Jun 2001

I only just got knighted. I was knighted this year so it started in the beginning of 2000. I’m still getting used to it. People in Britain are very aware of what it means and people in America are less certain. Some people expect me to come on a horse, I think. A suit and armor or something, so it’s nice. I mean it was unexpected, but it’s a very nice thing to happen. You get a letter from the Prime Minister’s office, which is very private, and you’re not allowed to tell anybody you have this letter. And then, it gives you the option to say no. It came in the mail, so I’d just came back, literally, I’d been away. The usual MasterCard application form and stuff like that [came in the mail] and then in this letter, is this thing from the Prime Minister’s office, and I opened it and I just fell over. It’s unbelievable. I tick[ed] the box to say I will accept it and then posted it off immediately. I have a real big problem; I still have to worry if I ticked the wrong box and so on. I told my wife but I didn’t tell anybody else. It’s announced at New Year’s Eve, and [for] New Year’s Eve in Scotland, you always have a big party. It was the millennium so we had about two hundred people around our house and then there was this news as well, so it was fantastic. I’m still recovering from the shock.

David Lane, immunologist, is the Director of the Cancer Research UK Transformation Research Group at the University of Dundee, Department of Surgery and Molecular Oncology at the Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in Dundee, Scotland. Lane founded the Department of Surgery and Oncology in the University’s Medical School with Alfred Cucheiri, one of the pioneers in minimal access ("keyhole") surgery. Currently on leave from the University of Dundee, he the Executive Director of the IMCB in Singapore. Lane is also the founder and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Cyclacel, a Dundee based biotechnology company now listed on the NASDAQ. Shortly after receiving his Ph.D., he was recruited by Joe Sambrook to work at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory with the Tumor Virus Group in the 70’s, where he also completed one of his books on antibodies. In 2000, Lane was knighted by Queen Elizabeth of England for his many contributions to science. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, the Academy of Medical Sciences, and the University College London.