The Inaugural Jack Strominger Lecture Series, awarded annually to an immunobiologist who has made significant contributions of inquiry in the field, kicks off next week with lectures at both Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. The lectureship was established to honor Dr. Jack Strominger, the current Higgins Research Professor of Biochemistry, on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday in 2015.
Strominger joined the faculty at Harvard in 1967 as one of the founding members of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) department, which eventually became the department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), and is now in the department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (SCRB). He has spent nearly 50 years of his illustrious scientific career at Harvard. Strominger has published over 1,000 articles, produced 10 current Harvard professors and two Nobel laureates from his lab, and won numerous awards in recognition of his contributions to the fields of microbiology and immunology, including the Japan Prize, the Lasker Award, the Paul Ehrlich Prize, and election to the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institute of Medicine.
“It’s kind of thrilling to have a lectureship named for you (although it takes second place to the thrill of making a discovery). Most people never see this kind of thing happen because they’re awarded after they’re dead!” jokes Strominger, now 91 and still an active researcher at Harvard. “I’m very excited to attend the lectures; Dan is a great scientist and they will be very interesting.”
“Jack Strominger is an extraordinary scientist who made transformative contributions to two entirely distinct fields: first, elucidating penicillin’s mode of action against bacterial cell walls, and second, in collaboration with Don Wiley and Pam Bjorkman, revealing how histocompatibility proteins present antigens to the immune system,” says Dr. Richard Losick, the Maria Moors Cabot Professor of Biology, who worked under Strominger as a Junior Fellow. “He has been remarkably productive throughout his career, has trained an exceptional number of scientists who have gone on to have highly successful careers of their own, and is a revered member of both MCB and SCRB. How fitting to have a prize named in his honor.”
The lectures will be delivered by Dr. Dan R. Littman, the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Professor of Molecular Immunology and Professor of Molecular Pathogenesis at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, at New York University:“Shaping of Immune Responses by the Microbiota”
Thursday, September 29, 12:00-1:00pm in NW room B103, 52 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA.“TH17 Cells in Immune Disease and Autism Spectrum Disorder”
Friday, September 30, 2:00-3:00pm at Harvard Medical School, Walter Amphitheater, TMEC 246, 260 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA.