Merrill W. Chase, Ph.D.

Merrill W. Chase

 Brief Bio

Merrill Wallace Chase (1905–2004) was the fortieth president of the American Association of Immunologists, serving from 1956 to 1957. Chase was a faculty member at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now the Rockefeller University) for over 70 years. With a series of experiments that culminated in his 1945 report on the cellular transfer of cutaneous hypersensitivity to tuberculin, Chase demonstrated the phenomenon of cell-mediated immunity and precipitated a surge of interest in cellular immunology.

Chase received his Ph.D. in bacteriology from Brown University in 1931. While a graduate student, he was a demonstrator in biology (1927–1929), and he remained at Brown as an instructor in biology for one year after earning his degree. In 1932, Chase joined the Rockefeller Institute as an assistant to Karl Landsteiner (AAI ’22, president 1927–28). He became professor and head of the Laboratory of Immunology and Hypersensitivity in 1965, the year that the Rockefeller Institute became the Rockefeller University. Chase was named professor emeritus in 1976 but remained active at the university until shortly before his death in 2004 at the age of 98.

 AAI Service History

Joined: 1938
President: 1956–1957
Vice President: 1955–1956
Councillor: 1952–1955
Historian: 1970–1977

The Journal of Immunology
Associate Editor: 1949–1960
Editorial Board: 1964–1971
Committees
Committee to Revise Constitution and Bylaws: 1955–1956 (chair)

 Awards and Honors

  • Distinguished Scientist Award, American Academy of Allergy, 1952
  • Von Pirquet Medal, 1963
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1974
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences, 1975

 Institutional/Biographical Links