Rolf Zinkernagel becomes Visiting Fellow at the Department of Microbiology at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University in Canberra in 1973. He spends most his time on immunity to infectious diseases. Zinkernagel earns his PhD in 1975.

Rolf Zinkernagel is appointed Full Professor of the Department of Pathology in 1988 and gets the chair of the Institute of Experimental Immunology at the University of Zürich in 1992. He holds both positions until his retirement in the February of 2008. Since then he´s Professor Emeritus.

Rolf Zinkernagel and Peter Doherty start working on immune responses against the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). The result of this collaboration is the discovery of the MHC restriction and how immune T cells recognize virus infected host cells.

Rolf Zinkernagel and the physician Kathrin Lüdin get married in November of 1968. They have two daughters, Christine and Annelies and one son, Martin. All children later work as scientists.

In the beginning of 1969 Rolf Zinkernagel starts working at the surgery department at a hospital in Basel. Shortly after that he becomes a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Basel, where he works on capillary growth in the epiphysis of the long bones.

Rolf Martin Zinkernagel is born as the middle of three children to a biologist and a lab technician in Riehen near Basel, Switzerland.

Rolf Zinkernagel visits the Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliches Gymnasium in Basel, where he receives his Matura in 1962. During his school time Zinkernagel joins many handicraft courses and the Swiss Alpine Club and with his brother he travels trough different countries.

Rolf Zinkernagel decides to move back to Zurich, where he becomes an Associate Professor at the Department of Pathology in 1979. Zinkernagel continues researching on host immune system functions and how viruses and immune system have co-evolved.

Rolf Zinkernagel becomes a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Biochemistry at the University of Lausanne in 1970. He studies under H. Isliker immunology and immunochemistry. During this period Zinkernagel takes part on a Postgraduate course in Experimental Medicine at the University of Zürich.

Rolf Zinkernagel enrolls at the University of Basel to study medicine in 1962. Parallel with his studies he has to acquire his Matura in Latin and does his military service. At the Medical School he meets his later wife Kathrin, with whom he graduates in 1968.

Rolf Zinkernagel gets a position as Associate at the Department of Immunopathology at the Research Institute of Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California. He continues his work on cell-mediated immunity and LCMV.

Rolf Zinkernagel along with Peter Doherty is awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries concerning the specificity of the cell mediated immune defense.