Sir Peter Medawar, 72, the British immunologist and zoologist who shared the 1960 Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology for his discovery of acquired immunological tolerance, died Oct. 2 at a London hospital after a stroke.
His most important research clinically established the theory that the rejection of donor grafts was caused by an immunological reaction.
Sir Peter and Sir Macfarlane Burnet of Australia were awarded the Nobel Prize for their joint work in formulating and proving the theory of acquired immunological tolerance. The Nobel committee cited them for "a major breakthrough in the field of immunology" and for opening "a new chapter in experimental biology."
Their Nobel citation pointed out that although tissue transplantation from one part of the body to another usually healed easily, exchange of tissues between individuals presented entirely different problems. Foreign tissue, because of individual immunological patterns, is identified by the body and rejected, even after it has apparently begun to heal.
Their work was the foundation on which others built to solve problems relating to the rejection of transplanted tissues and led to widespread success in the fields of kidney, liver and heart transplants.
Peter Brian Medawar was born in Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 28, 1915. His father was Lebanese and his mother British. He was educated in Britain, graduating from Marlborough College, an exclusive public school, and Oxford University's Magdalen College with a first in zoology.
He later became a fellow at Magdalen before becoming a zoology professor at Birmingham University in 1947. Four years later, he joined the University of London as professor of zoology and comparative anatomy.
He was director of the National Institute of Medical Research from 1962 to 1971, then became head of the surgical sciences division of the Clinical Research Centre. Knighted in 1965, he received the Order of Merit in 1981.
During his Oxford years, zoology was dominated by anatomists and paleontologists. Experimental biology was in its early years, and immunology was not yet a widely recognized field of study.
Sir Peter's research before World War II concentrated in the fields of growth and aging. During the war, he witnessed the crash of a plane near Oxford and became involved in efforts to save the severely injured pilot through skin grafts.
For the remainder of the war, he worked for the government on skin grafts. Until this time, grafts seldom worked because the body rejected grafted skin not its own. During the war, Sir Peter helped perfect a "laboratory" solution to the problem that opened a new field of research.
He produced fibrinogen, a biological glue that was used in grafting operations and for uniting the endings of severed nerves. He also recognized a rejection reaction at work similar to that used by the body to fight some diseases.
In 1953, he published research reporting that mouse embryos injected with cell tissue from a different strain of mice showed a preconditioned tolerance of grafts from that strain later in life. Mice developed from embryos that were not injected, rejected grafts from the second strain. This confirmed Sir Macfarlane's acquired immunological tolerance theory of grafts.
In addition to research and teaching, Sir Peter gained admiration for his ability to interpret arcane and difficult science for the lay reader. He became widely known in Britain for his 1960 Reith lectures on the British Broadcasting Corp. on "The Future of Man."
His books included two collections of essays, "The Art of the Soluble" and "The Hope of Progress." His 1979 "Advice to a Young Scientist" was just that, and conveyed much of his own joy and wonder in his calling. His "Memoir of a Thinking Radish," published in the United States in 1986, was an informed and charming autobiography.
Survivors include his wife, the scientist Jean Shinglewood Taylor Medawar, whom he married in 1937, and their four children.
GEORGE LAFOLLETTE MILLER,
62, a diesel engineer with JJH Inc., a naval architecture and marine engineering firm, and a retired commander in the Navy reserves, died Oct. 1 at Fairfax Hospital after a heart attack.
Mr. Miller, who lived in Springfield, was born in Webster, Wis., and graduated from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He joined the Navy in 1942 and served as a fighter pilot aboard the carrier Lexington in the Pacific during World War II.
He also flew in the Berlin airlift and was a navigation instructor at Westover Field in Massachusetts before his discharge in 1950. He retired from the Navy reserves about 1962.
Mr. Miller worked as an engineer with companies in Texas and Connecticut before moving to this area in 1970 and becoming head of the Washington offices of ALCO Power Inc., a diesel engine and marine propulsion firm. He retired from that company in 1985 and joined JJH, where he worked as a diesel engineer until his death.
He was a former master of the Arlington Centennial Masonic Lodge and a former district deputy grandmaster of the 54th Masonic District of the Grand Lodge of Virginia. He also was a member of the Scottish Rite, the Royal Arch Triangle, the Kena Temple Shrine and the Royal Order of Scotland.
Survivors include his wife Lillian Miller, and one son, G. William Miller, both of Springfield; two sisters, Dorothy Williams of Almena, Wis., and Marge Broeffle of Edina, Minn.; one brother, Eugene Miller of Minnesota, and one granddaughter.
LOUISE BALDWIN RUGE,
81, a longtime Washington area resident and a former member of the board of the Beauvoir School at the Washington Cathedral, died of septicemia Oct. 2 at George Washington University Hospital. She lived in Washington.
Mrs. Ruge was born in Newark. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. In 1937, she moved to the Washington area. She was the author of stories that were published in 1939 and 1941 as part of a collection entitled "Best Short Stories for Boys and Girls."
For many years, she was active in the Mount Holyoke Club of Washington.
Her husband, Ferdinand E. Ruge, a former teacher at St. Albans School, died in 1977.
Survivors include one son, Richard V. Ruge of Washington; one daughter, Elizabeth R. Noe of Ridgewood, N.J., and two grandchildren.