Herman Eisen

Renowned immunologist and past AAI president Herman N. Eisen, M.D. (AAI ’51), died on November 2, 2014, at the age of 96. He was the oldest and second-longest tenured AAI member at the time of his death. An emeritus professor of biology at MIT whose active research career spanned six decades and extended to the end of his life, Eisen is perhaps best known for groundbreaking research in which he described affinity maturation: the process by which activated B cells produce antibodies with an increasingly higher affinity for invading pathogens after infection. The recipient of the AAI Lifetime Achievement Award (1997) and AAI Behring Heidelberger Award (1993), Eisen was a member of the AAI Council from 1964 to 1971, including as AAI president from 1968 to 1969, and served on numerous AAI committees (including the AAI Awards Committee and AAI Nominating Committee) and on the editorial board of The Journal of Immunology (The JI). For highlights of his AAI service and career achievements, and to view Eisen's 2012 interview for the AAI Oral History Project, visit his profile in the History section of the AAI site. An AAI in memoriam appeared in the The JI and the Winter 2014-2015 issue of the AAI Newsletter. An obituary published by MIT appears here.