Donald Palmer, born in 1962 in London, is Senior Lecturer in Immunology in the Comparative Biomedical Sciences Department of the Royal Veterinary College, London. His research is concerned with the role of the thymus in the ageing of the immune system, and the identification of ‘novel markers’ on the surfaces of cells. Donald’s parents emigrated from Jamaica in the early1960s. Following secondary education in a comprehensive school in south London, Donald completed an Ordinary National Diploma in Medical Sciences at South London Technical College and then read Medical Sciences at the University of Bradford, 1980-1983. While working as a research technician in a tissue-typing laboratory in Hammersmith Hospital, Donald completed an MSc in Immunology at King’s College, London, 1986-1989, and then a PhD investigating the genetic regulation of Beta-2-microglobulin in the Division of Transplantation Biology, Clinical Science Centre, Northwick Park Hospital, 1989-1992. In 1998, following post doctoral work at Cancer Research UK and Imperial College, London, Donald was appointed a Research Lecturer at Imperial College, with a Medical Research Council Career Development Award. In 2002, he moved from Imperial College to the Royal Veterinary College as a Lecturer in Immunology.