Marian E. Koshland, Ph.D.

Marian E. Koshland

 Brief Bio

Marian “Bunny” Elliott Koshland (1921–1997) was the sixty-sixth president of the American Association of Immunologists, serving from 1982 to 1983. She was a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), from 1970 to 1997 and chair of the department from 1982 to 1989. In the early 1970s, Koshland identified the J chain and described its role in antibody assembly and secretion.

Koshland received her Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Chicago in 1946. As a graduate student during the Second World War, Koshland worked on three war-related projects: she helped develop a cholera vaccine as a research assistant in the Office of Science Research and Development at the University of Chicago (1943, 1944–1945), investigated the spread of respiratory infections among troops as part of the Commission of Air Borne Diseases of the Army Epidemiology Board (1943–1944), and studied the biological effects of radiation as a junior chemist for the Manhattan District Atomic Bomb Project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (1945–1946). After the war, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Bacteriology at Harvard Medical School (1949–1951) before becoming an associate bacteriologist at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, in 1953. She was promoted to bacteriologist in 1962 but left Brookhaven three years later for Wendell Stanley’s (AAI ’57) Virus Laboratory at UC Berkeley, where she rose from associate immunologist (1965–1969) to immunologist (1969–1970). While conducting research in Stanley’s laboratory, she began teaching as a lecturer in 1966 and joined the full-time faculty of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology as a professor of immunology in 1970. In 1979, she spent her sabbatical studying molecular biology in David Baltimore’s (AAI ’84) laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After chairing the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UC Berkeley during much of the 1980s, she continued to be actively involved in the department into the final weeks of her life, not only as a professor but also as head of the department’s Graduate Affairs Office (1994–1997). Koshland died of lung cancer at the age of 76 on October 28, 1997.

 AAI Service History

Joined: 1950
President: 1982–1983
Vice President: 1981–1982
Councillor: 1977–1981

The Journal of Immunology
Editorial Board: 1973–1978
Membership Committee: 1971–1973
Committee on Women’s Status: 1972–1973
Nominating Committee: 1973–1974, 1987–1988
Awards Committee: 1979–1980, 1987–1990, 1996–1998
Public Affairs Committee: 1989–1991

Other Service
AAI Representative to FASEB Board: 1981–1984
AAI Representative to FASEB Executive Committee: 1981–1984

 President's Address

"Molecular Aspects of B Cell Differentiation," Delivered April 12, 1983

The Journal of Immunology 131, no. 6 (1983): i–ix.

 Awards and Honors

  • Member, National Academy of Sciences, 1981
  • FASEB Excellence in Science Award, 1989
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1991

 Institutional/Biographical Links

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