header image

Eberly 2017

2017 Eberly Distinguished Lectureship in Immunology

The Eberly Distinguished Lectureship in Immunology was established in 2011 by the Department of Immunology and the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute to recognize the generous support of the Robert E. Eberly Family and to showcase each year the research of three prominent international leaders in the field of immunology.

Dr. Klaus Rajewsky studied medicine and chemistry at the University of Frankfurt earning his MD in 1962. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France, Rajewsky joined the Institute for Genetics at the University of Cologne in 1964 and two years later became head of the Institute’s newly founded Department of Immunology where he remained until 2001. In 1969 he was named a Senior Fellow of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and worked with renowned immunologist, Avrion Mitchison. From 1996 to 2001, he coordinated the mouse biology program of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Monterotondo near Rome. In 2001, he was appointed Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and was subsequently named the Fred S. Rosen Professor of Pediatrics. During his time at Harvard, he was a Senior Investigator in the Immune Disease Institute’s Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. He returned to Germany to establish the Immune Regulation and Cancer research group at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in 2011.

Dr. Rajewsky has made key contributions to our understanding of normal and malignant development of antibody forming cells, the mechanisms of somatic antibody diversification, and the formation of immunological memory. In the 1990s, Rajewsky and his colleagues developed conditional gene targeting, which enables specific genes of specific tissue in mice to be turned on or off. The technique remains one of the most important methods for understanding the function of genes and their role in the etiology of diseases and continues to be used in biomedical research laboratories around the globe. Dr. Rajewsky is also responsible for identifying B cells as the cells of origin for the Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Most recently, his lab has focused on the identification of signals mediating B cell differentiation and survival, the modeling of human B cell lymphomas in mice and the analysis of microRNA control in the hematopoietic system.

Dr. Rajewsky has received international recognition for his work, including the Max Delbrück Medal in 2009, the Körber European Science Prize in 1997, and the Max Planck Research Award and Robert Koch Prize in 1996. In 2003 he received an NIH Merit Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. He has been a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina since 1995, a foreign member of the US National Academy of Sciences since 1994 and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2001, and a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences since 2003.
The 2017 Eberly Distinguished Lectureship in Immunology will be held Thursday, October 5, 2017 at Noon is Scaife Hall Lecture Room 6