Immunomodulation Committee Biographical Sketches
Arturo Casadevall (Chair) is the Selma and Jacques Mitrani Professor of Biomedical Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is also the Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at his institution. He received his B.A. from Queens College, CUNY, and M.S., M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from New York University. His laboratory is interested in the fundamental questions of how microbes cause disease and how the host protects itself against microbes. The laboratory has a multidisciplinary research program spanning several areas of basic immunology and microbiology to address these general questions, which has resulted in almost 300 publications. His work is largely focused on the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, a ubiquitous environmental microbe that is a frequent cause of disease in immunocompromised individuals. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and American Association of Physicians. Dr. Casadevall has served on numerous advisory committees to the NIH including study sections, strategic planning for the NIAID and the blue ribbon panel on response to bioterrorism. He is also a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB). He serves on the editorial boards of several journals, was recently elected Chair of the Medical Mycology division of the American Society of Microbiology and has been the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the Solomon A. Berson Medical Alumni Achievement Award in Basic Science-NYU School of Medicine 2005.
Rita R. Colwell is Distinguished University Professor both at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health as well as Chair of Canon U.S. Life Sciences. Her interests are focused on global infectious diseases, water, and health, and she is currently developing an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and water issues, including safe drinking water for both the developed and developing world. Colwell served as the 11th Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), 1998-2004. She has authored or co-authored 16 books and more than 700 scientific publications. She produced the award-winning film Invisible Seas and has served on editorial boards of numerous scientific journals. Before going to NSF, Colwell was president of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and professor of Microbiology and Biotechnology at the University of Maryland. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. Born in Beverly, Massachusetts, Colwell holds a B.S. in Bacteriology and an M.S. in Genetics from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Washington.
R.E.W. (Bob) Hancock is a Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of British Columbia and is a Canada Research Chair holder. He was the founding Scientific Director of the Canadian Bacterial Diseases Network and currently heads the UBC Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research. His research interests include antibiotic uptake and resistance, functional genomics and the development of small cationic peptides as novel antimicrobials and modulators of innate immunity. He has published more than 360 papers and reviews and has 18 patents awarded. He has won many awards, including the Canadian Society of Microbiologists Award 1986, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada 1994, the Canada 125 Silver Medal 1995, MRC Distinguished Scientist 1995-2000, Jacob Biely Faculty Research Prize 2000, BC Biotech Alliance Innovation and Achievement Award 2001, Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology 2002, the QEII Jubilee Medal 2002, the Aventis Pharmaceuticals Award 2003, and the Zellers Scientist award and BC Innovation Council Chairman’s award 2004. In 2001 he was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is co-Founder of Inimex Pharmaceuticals Inc., and has served as a Scientific Advisory Board Member or consultant with 17
biotech and pharmaceutical companies. A group of which he is co-Director was awarded $20 million by Genome Canada to study the Functional Pathogenomics of Mucosal Immunity.
Margaret Jean McFall-Ngai received her Ph.D. in Biology from UCLA in 1983. Following postdoctoral positions in protein biochemistry at UCLA Medical School and UC San Diego, she held a faculty position at University of Southern California, where she was awarded tenure in 1994. In 1996, she moved to the University of Hawaii, Manoa, to the Pacific Biomedical Research Center, and then on to a professorship in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in June 2004. Her laboratory studies the influence of beneficial bacteria on health and disease using the squid-vibrio animal model system, the development of which she has pioneered with colleagues in microbiology. She was the principal organizer for a recent meeting at the Rockefeller Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy, the proceedings of which appear in a new book, The Influence of Cooperative Bacteria on Animal Host Biology, (McFall-Ngai, M.J., Henderson, B., and Ruby, E.G., eds.) 2005, Cambridge University Press.
Carl F. Nathan is Chairman, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and co-chairman, Graduate Program in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He joined the faculty in 1985 as the Stanton Griffis Distinguished Professor of Medicine. Prior to his current appointment, he was the founding director of the Tri-Institutional M.D.-Ph.D. Program and served as Senior Associate Dean and Acting Dean for Research. He previously was on the faculty at the Rockefeller University. Dr. Nathan’s research furnished some of the first molecular explanations for macrophage activation and antimicrobial mechanisms of macrophages. He has made several fundamental discoveries about cytokine activation of macrophages, and determined that a major mechanism of host defense is expression of inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase (iNOS). He holds an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. After training at Massachusetts General Hospital, the National Cancer Institute and Yale, he was board-certified in internal medicine and oncology.
Liise-anne Pirofski is a Professor of Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She received her
B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and her M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. After residency in Internal Medicine at Bellevue Hospital and the NYU Medical Center and fellowship training in Infectious Diseases at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, she did a postdoctoral fellowship in immunology in the laboratory of Matthew Scharff. She is currently a member of the Host Interactions with Bacterial Pathogens review panel of NIAID, an Associate Editor of Medical Mycology, and involved in medical education as course director of the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases course at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Her research program is focused on immunity to encapsulated pathogens, using Cryptococcus neoformans and Streptococcus pneumoniae as examples, and the interplay between the status of the antibody repertoire and microbial factors in the pathogenesis of these microbes in immunocompromised persons. She has also written numerous reviews developing useful models for the understanding of complex issues such as the bioweapons potential of microbes, a novel damage-response model of microbial pathogenesis, and the history and future potential of antibody and vaccine based immune therapeutics.
Arthur Tzianabos is an Associate Professor of Medicine (Microbiology and Molecular Genetics) at Harvard Medical School. He joined the faculty there in 1992 and has focused his research efforts on the host response to bacterial pathogens and modulation of T cell responses to prevent deleterious host tissue disorders. His work was among the first to show that bacterial polysaccharides can elicit cell-mediated immune responses and can be used to modulate deleterious host tissue responses such as surgical adhesion formation. He has recently begun a program to develop novel conjugate vaccines for the prevention of diseases caused by Francisella tularensis, a Class A agent of bioterrorism. Currently, he holds two R01 NIH grants and is a project leader for New England Center for Regional Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases funded by the NIAID/NIH.
Dennis M. Zaller received his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Columbia University. His thesis focused on the regulation of immunoglobulin gene expression. He then spent three years at the California Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Leroy Hood. His postdoctoral work involved the elucidation of the repertoire of autoreactive T cells that emerge in response to myelin basic protein, and the study of transgenic mice expressing an autoreactive T cell receptor. He
then accepted a position with Merck Research Laboratories, where he has been for 14 years. He is currently an Executive Director and Head of the Immunology Therapeutic Area at Merck. He leads a Department of approximately 80 scientists who are focused on the development of novel therapies to treat inflammation-based disorders.