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The American Association of Immunologists

AAI Honors Memory of Ralph Steinman
Award to Carry His Name

Ralph SteinmanThe AAI Council is pleased to announce that the AAI Award for Human Immunology Research will be renamed in honor of deceased AAI member Ralph Marvin Steinman, M.D., (1943–2011). The award will now be named the AAI-Steinman Award for Human Immunology Research. In 2004, in his capacity as a Scientific Advisor with the Dana Foundation, Steinman, AAI ’75, brokered that organization’s joint sponsorship of this award with AAI “to recognize individuals who discover immune processes pertinent to human disease pathogenesis, prevention, and therapy.” The Dana Foundation supported this award until 2009.

Among his many honors and awards, Ralph Steinman was granted the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2011 for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity. In that year, the Nobel Assembly named three immunologists to share the prizes. Bruce A. Beutler, AAI ’06, and Jules A. Hoffman were also named for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity.

“It is most appropriate that this award should carry Dr. Steinman’s name in recognition of his role in its genesis and also in honor of his extraordinary career and distinction as an immunologist,” says AAI President Gail Bishop. “His discovery of dendritic cells opened an entirely new field of research. His death just moments before the announcement of his being awarded the Nobel grieved us all. In tribute to him, we place his name on the award he helped us found to honor researchers of great distinction in this field.”

The first awardee, Fred Rosen, M.D., AAI ’64, Harvard Medical School, was honored in 2005 for his “seminal contributions to the understanding of adaptive and innate human immunology through recognition and astute analysis of inherited diseases.”

Past Awardees include:

John P. Atkinson, M.D., Washington University School of Medicine

Ellis L. Reinherz, M.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School

Raif S. Geha, M.D., Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School

Jacques Banchereau, Ph.D., Baylor Institute for Immunology Research

James P. Allison, Ph.D., HHMI, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Thomas A. Waldmann, M.D., Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health

Max D. Cooper, M.D., University of Alabama, Birmingham, School of Medicine

Fred Rosen, M.D., Harvard Medical School

The recipient of the AAI-Steinman Award for Human Immunology Research receives a $5,000 cash award and travel support to attend the AAI annual meeting, where the recipient delivers a plenary lecture presenting his or her work. For more information, visit www.aai.org/Awards/Career/index.html.


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