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The Dean's Lecture Series
Alexander Ming Fisher Lecture

Dean's Distinguished Lecture in the Basic Sciences

The Cartwright Lecture

Dean's Distinguished Lecture in the Clinical Sciences

David Seegal Alpha Omega Alpha Visiting Professorship Lecture

Heidelberger-Kabat Lecture
past events

Dean's Distinguished Lecture in the Humanities

Innovation in Biological and Medical Sciences Distinguished Lecture

Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize Lecture

Samuel Rudin Distinguished Visiting Professorship Lecture

Thomas Q. Morris Symposia

Other Special Lectures and Events

Previous lectures:

Lecture Videos



Heidelberger-Kabat Lecture

The Heidelberger-Kabat Lecture’s foundations date to the mid-1950s when the university instituted a lecture series to honor Dr. Michael Heidelberger, Columbia’s first professor of immunochemistry and the founding father of the field.  Subsequently, the university established a symposium named for Dr. Elvin Kabat, a Columbia professor who studied under Dr. Heidelberger and whose research led to the identification of the proteins responsible for antibody activity.  The two lectures, merged in 2001, are a premier forum for new developments and discoveries in immunochemistry.

Michael Heidelberger (1888 - 1991)

Trained in organic chemistry, Michael Heidelberger embarked on the characterization of the immunologic specificity of pneumococcal polysaccharides in the 1920s and continued this work after his move to Columbia in 1928. His work demonstrated that polysaccharides are effective antigens (in the absence of any peptide component), thus dispelling the myth that only proteins could serve as antigens; and that antibodies are proteins, bringing immunochemistry out of the vague realm of colloidal chemistry. Using antibodies as specific reagents, Heidelberger carried out structural analyses of a wide variety of naturally occurring polysaccharides. Heidelberger brought the precise methods of analytical chemistry to the determination of antibodies, antigens, and complement on a weight basis, providing the gold standard against which miniaturized and rapid methods such as RIA and ELISA could be standardized and compared.

Heidelberger was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and received the National Medal of Science in 1967.

Heidelberger worked full time until the age of 100 and published a paper in every decade of the 20th century.

Elvin A. Kabat (1914 - 2000)

During his doctoral work, Elvin Kabat developed a life-long interest in carbohydrate chemistry, which later led to his unraveling the complex chemistry of human blood group substances. In 1937-38, Kabat used electrophoresis to show that immunoglobulins comprise the "gamma globulin" fraction of human serum and demonstrated that gamma globulin was present in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with multiple sclerosis. In 1947, Kabat began to work on an animal model of MS in monkeys, establishing the autoimmune character of this disease. He initiated the quantitative study of antibodies in anaphylaxis and allergy and provided the first estimates of the size and shape of an antibody's antigen combining site. Kabat received the National Medal of Science in 1991.

Available Videos:
Speaker: Rafi Ahmed, PhD
Lecture Date: June 21, 2017
Lecture Title: “T Cell Memory and Exhaustion”

2016-2017 EVENTS

Rafi Ahmed, PhD

“T Cell Memory and Exhaustion”

Rafi Ahmed, PhD
Georgia Research Alliance Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Director, Emory Vaccine Center
School of Medicine, Emory University

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
12:00 p.m.
Clyde and Helen Wu Auditorium, Room 201
Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center
104 Haven Avenue

Lunch to follow in Room 401.

Dr. Rafi Ahmed is the Georgia Research Alliance Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Director of the Emory Vaccine Center at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga. He earned his undergraduate degree from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.. After completing his postdoctoral training in the Department of Immunology at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, Calif., he joined the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the UCLA School of Medicine. He was at UCLA from 1984 until 1995, when he moved to Emory University. His research efforts focus on two areas: understanding the mechanisms of immunological memory to use this knowledge to develop new and more effective vaccines, and defining the mechanisms of T cell exhaustion during chronic viral infections and cancer to develop strategies for restoring function in exhausted T cells. Dr. Ahmed is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

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2015 - Michael Karin, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology
Ben and Wanda Hildyard Chair for Mitochondrial and Metabolic Diseases
American Cancer Society Research Professor
University of California, San Diego
School of Medicine

2014 - Diane Mathis, Ph.D, Morton Grove-Rasmussen Professor of Immunohematology
Division of Immunology, MBIB
Harvard Medical School

2013- Jeffrey V. Ravetch, M.D., Ph.D., Theresa and Eugene Lang Professor
Head, Leonard Wagner Laboratory of
Molecular Genetics and Immunology
The Rockefeller University

2012- Mark M. Davis, Ph.D., The Burt and Marion Avery Family
Professor of Immunology,
Stanford University School of Medicine
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

2011- Laurie Glimcher, M.D., Irene Heinz Given
Professor of Immunology,
Harvard School of Public Health
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

2010- Richard A. Flavell, Ph.D, FRS, Sterling Professor and Chairman
Yale University School of Medicine

2009 - Sankar Ghosh, Ph.D., Silverstein and Hutt Family Professor of Microbiology
Chair, Department of Microbiology
Columbia University

2008 - Michel C. Nussenzweig, MD, Ph.D., Sherman Fairchild Professor, The Rockefeller University
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

2007 - Tasuku Honjo, M.D., Professor of Immunology and Genomic Medicine
Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine

2005 - Max D. Cooper, M.D., Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, Microbiology and Pathology
University of Alabama at Birmingham

2004 - Klaus Rajewsky, M.D., Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School
Senior Investigator, CBR Institute for Biomedical Research

2003 - Ralph Steinman, M.D., Henry G. Kunkel Professor and Senior Physician
Rockefeller University


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