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Friday, October 15, 2021  

Philippa Marrack to Be Honored for Lifetime Achievement in Immunology Published 5/13/2003

National Jewish researcher Philippa Marrack, Ph.D., received 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 infection 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 Medical Institute.

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 presented the AAI Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Marrack.

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