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.

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”

2017-2018 EVENTS

Robert D. Shreiber, PhD

“Neoantigens and the Molecular Basis of Personalized Cancer Immunotherapy”

Robert D. Schreiber, PhD
Andrew M. and Jane M. Bursky
Distinguished Professor
Department of Pathology and
Director, The Andrew M. and
Jane M. Bursky Center for
Human Immunology and
Immunotherapy Programs
Washington University School of

Wednesday, May 30, 2018
12:00 p.m.
Hammer Health Sciences Center,
Room 301
701 West 168th Street

Lunch to follow in the Riverview
Lounge, 4th Floor

Robert D. Schreiber, PhD, earned two degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a B.A. degree in chemistry in 1968 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry and immunology in 1973. He received his postdoctoral training in immunology at the Research Institute of Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, Calif., from 1973 to 1976, and was then appointed to the Scripps faculty, where he rose to the rank of tenured associate member. In 1985, Schreiber was recruited to Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., as professor of pathology and immunology and professor of molecular microbiology and, in 1990, became the Alumni Endowed Professor of Pathology and Immunology. Schreiber is currently the Andrew M. and Jane M. Bursky Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pathology and Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine, founding director of the Andrew M. and Jane M. Bursky Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs, and co-leader of the Tumor Immunology Program of Washington University’s Siteman Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is an extramural member researcher of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, an associate director of the Scientific Advisory Board to the Cancer Research Institute, and a member of the Board of Scientific Advisors to the National Cancer Institute. Schreiber is a co-founder of two biotech companies, Jounce Therapeutics (Boston, Mass.) and Neon Therapeutics Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.). Schreiber’s research focuses on two areas: (1) the cell biology of interferon-gamma and its receptor and (2) elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying natural and therapeutically induced immune responses to developing and established cancers. Schreiber described the process of cancer immunoediting, pioneered the use of genomic approaches to define the antigenic targets and underlying mechanisms of this process, and was one of the first to use an immunogenomics approach to develop individualized cancer vaccine therapies. He has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed and invited publications and has received many honors for his work. Schreiber is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

back to top


2016 - Rafi ahmed, PhD, Georgia Research Alliance Professor of Microbiology and Immunology Director,
Emory Vaccine Center Emory University School of Medicine

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


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