The Experimental Department was formed from the Virus Department in 1960. This represented the Institute's shift in research from virology to immunology, which began in 1957.
There were two main research focuses for the Experimental Department. One was on avian immunology and involved the study of graft versus host reaction on the chorioallantoic membrane of chick embryos, the development of the Bursa of Fabricius (the avian immunological equivalent of mammalian bone marrow), immunological reactivity in bursectomised chickens, and the immunological function of the Bursa. The other area of interest was the autoimmune diseases in mice, and the transfer of such diseases using spleen cells. By 1964/65 work centred around the problems of antibody production and immunological tolerance, particularly induction of tolerance in new-born animals. In 1964 workers in the Department wrote a computer program that would calculate group means, variances, standard deviations and standard errors to produce a curve of antibody production, and determine the total antibody production.
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