mous influence on the entire course of basic immunology. At the same time it established pathogenetic mechanisms that brought new diagnostic tools to the clinic.
Despite his intense interest in basic science, his first love was clinical medicine, which he looked upon as an avocation. Here he made major contributions to the diagnosis, and to understanding the pathogenesis of many diseases, and employed new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of many of these same diseases. His work substantially impacted our understanding and subsequent treatment of chronic liver disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, primary immunodeficiency disorders, and lymphoproliferative diseases. In addition to his basic science and clinical contributions, he was one of the most sought after teachers and mentors for young scientists interested in the new field of immunology. His trainees included one Nobel Laureate, four members of the National Academy of Sciences and many distinguished scientists, including department chairs, institute presidents, deans, and others who are conducting both basic and clinical research throughout the world. His trainees are prevalent in the United States and Europe, and particularly in Scandinavia, where he had spent a happy and productive year as a visiting investigator with Nobel Laureate Dr. Arne Tiselius in Uppsala, Sweden.
Henry Kunkel’s parents clearly helped focus his passion. He was born in Brooklyn on September 9, 1916, the son of the distinguished botanist Louis O. Kunkel and his wife, Johanna Kunkel. His father was a professor of plant pathology at the Rockefeller Institute (later university), who would later be elected to the National Academy of Sciences. His mother was an ardent horticulturist. His parents’ passion for botany and biology kindled his interest at a very early age. He once told how he and his friends as children