CUMC Home | Columbia University | Jobs at CUMC | Contact CUMC | Find People
Columbia University Medical Center logo,Positioning Line Discover. Educate. Care. Lead., image for New York Skyline  

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.

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.

2014-2015 EVENTS

Michael Karin, PhD

“From Inflammation to Immunity: Understanding Cancer and Improving its Treatment”

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
12 p.m.
Hammer Health Sciences Center, Room 401
701 West 168th Street

Lunch to follow in the Riverview Lounge.

Michael Karin, PhD was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and received the bachelor of science degree in 1975 from Tel Aviv University, with a major in biology. In 1975 he arrived in the United States and in 1979 received a PhD degree in molecular Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Karin followed his graduate studies with postdoctoral fellowships at the Fox Chase Institute for Cancer Research, working in the laboratory of Dr. Beatrice Mintz, and the laboratory of Dr. John Baxter at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Karin joined the faculty at the University of California, San Diego in 1986, where currently he is a Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology.

Dr. Karin has received numerous awards including the Oppenheimer Award for Excellence in Research from the Endocrine Society in 1990, an American Cancer Society Research Professorship in 1999, the C.E.R.I.E.S. Research Award for Physiology or Biology of the Skin in 2000, the Harvey Prize in Human Health in 2011, the Brupbacher Prize in Cancer Research in 2013, and the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology in 2013. Dr. Karin was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2005, as a Foreign Associate of EMBO in 2007, and to the Institute of Medicine in 2011. Dr. Karin also serves on several advisory boards and was co founder of Signal Pharmaceuticals (currently Celgene).

Dr. Karin has spent his entire academic career investigating stress and inflammation signaling covering the gamut of research approaches from basic biochemistry through molecular cell biology to animal pathophysiology. After discovering how environmental stress caused by either infection, inflammation, or exposure to toxic substances leads to activation of AP-1, NF-κB, and other transcription factors, his lab began to examine the role of the key signaling pathways controlling these transcription factors in the pathogenesis of cancer and degenerative and metabolic diseases. The Karin group has identified some of the fundamental mechanisms through which inflammation and obesity promote tumor development and progression and contribute to type 2 diabetes. They established the mechanisms through which members of the IL-6 cytokine family contribute to the development of colorectal and liver cancer through activation of STAT3 and other transcription factors. They also established the complex and cell type specific mechanisms through which NF-κB activation via IκB kinases (IKK) controls development and progression of colon, liver, and prostate cancers. They were among the first to demonstrate that not only innate immune cells, such as macrophages, but also adaptive immune cells, including T regulatory cells and B lymphocytes, contribute to tumorigenesis and its progression. Through this work, Dr. Karin has contributed to the founding of the inflammation and cancer field.

back to top


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


CUMC Home | © Columbia University | Affiliated with New York-Presbyterian Hospital | Comments | Text-Only Version