National Jewish researcher Philippa
Marrack, Ph.D., will receive the American Association
of Immunologists Lifetime Achievement Award Tuesday, May 5,
during the association's annual meeting in Denver. Dr. Marrack's
research has focused on T cells, a pivotal part of the immune
system that detects infections and rouses the immune system
to fight them. She and her husband, John
Kappler, Ph.D., isolated the T cell receptor and discovered
superantigens, extremely potent stimulators of the immune
system responsible for toxic shock syndrome, food poisoning
and other diseases.
"This is a great honor, said Dr. Marrack.
"I am thrilled to receive this award, but I am not done
yet. My lab continues to be very active and I fully expect
to make several more contributions to the field of immunology."
Born in England, Philippa Marrack earned her
Ph.D. in biological sciences at Cambridge University. She
came to the United States to pursue postdoctoral research,
met her future husband, and stayed in the country. After stints
in San Diego and Rochester, New York, Dr. Marrack came to
Denver in 1979 to join the faculties at both National Jewish
Medical and Research Center and the University of Colorado
Health Sciences Center In 1986, she was named an investigator
for the prestigious Howard Hughes
During her career, Dr. Marrack has published
more than 300 peer-reviewed journal articles most of which
have described the development, specificity, activation and
life history of T cells. She has been a member of the National
Academy of Sciences in the United States since 1989, and a
Fellow of the Royal Society in Great Britain since 1997. Among
her numerous awards are the Royal Society's Wellcome Foundation
Prize (1990), the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmtsädter
Prize (1993) and the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize (1995).
"Dr. Marrack's numerous discoveries about
T cells and superantigens have had tremendous impact on the
field of immunology," said Paul W. Kincade, Ph.D., president
of the American Association of Immunologists. "But we
recognize her for her service to the research community, as
well. She is a master teacher. She is patient, and funny,
and she doesn't take herself too seriously."
Dr. Marrack has served on the editorial boards
of numerous journals, including Cell, Science,
and the Journal of Immunology. She has served on various
panels and boards for the American Cancer Society, the National
Institutes of Health, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. She
was the president of the American Association of Immunologists
in 2000-2001, and is currently the President of the International
Union of Immunological Societies.
Dr. Kincade will present the AAI Lifetime Achievement
Award to Dr. Marrack during a ceremony in the Colorado Convention
Center beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 5.