In May, Jack Strominger will receive the 2010 Excellence in Mentoring Award from the American Association of Immunologists (AAI). Strominger, the Higgins Professor of Biochemistry and an affiliate of the Harvard Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, currently explores autoimmune diseases, natural killer cells, and enigma of how the body tolerates the “foreign graft” of a fetus in pregnancy. (The loss of tolerance can cause miscarriages.) Earlier in his career, he discovered how penicillin kills bacteria and how the immune system fundamentally works. His study of histocompatibility in humans and other vertebrates led to the understanding of the mechanisms of immune recognition and to the discovery of class I and class II proteins encoded in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), as well as other molecules and cells involved in these processes.
Strominger previously received the prestigious Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award and the Japan Prize with the late Don Wiley. He is a member of the National Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, among other honors.
The AAI is the largest professional association of immunologists in the world. The Excellence in Mentoring Award honors him as a “dedicated mentor who significantly influences a trainee’s professional development and career” and who has contributed to the profession through outstanding mentoring. Nine of his former lab members (undergraduate, graduates and postdoctoral fellows) are Harvard professors, eight are National Academy of Science members, and two are Nobel laureates. This award is presented at an Awards Presentation Program at the 97th AAI Annual Meeting, Immunology 2010, on May 7-11 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Read more in Harvard Gazette