Role of Immunity in Tissue Injury to Be Lecture Topic

Richard A. Flavell, PhD, DSc


A state-of-the-art lecture will cover the topic “Innate Immunity in Tissue Injury and Inflammation” on Sunday, Nov. 5.

Richard A. Flavell, PhD, DSc, will deliver the talk. He is Sterling Professor of Immunobiology at Yale University School of Medicine and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Dr. Flavell is co-discoverer of introns in cellular genes. He showed that DNA methylation correlates inversely with, and prevents, gene expression. He was the first to develop reverse genetics and has become a sophisticated practitioner in the use of this approach in vivo to study function.

Dr. Flavell’s laboratory studies the molecular and cellular basis of the immune response, particularly as it applies to autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases. The researchers have discovered the role of several receptor families in the innate immune response, including the role of several Toll-like receptors and intracellular Nod-like receptor families. These discoveries have led to the elucidation of the function of Nod2 in inflammatory bowel diseases and NLRP proteins in the production of interleukin-1.

Dr. Flavell has been instrumental in discovering the molecular basis of T-cell differentiation from precursor cells into differentiated subsets and provided the first example of gene regulation via direct physical interactions between pairs of chromosomes, a phenomenon known as “kissing chromosomes.” His laboratory has also elucidated the mechanisms of immunoregulation that prevent autoimmunity and overaggressive responses to pathogens.

Dr. Flavell has published more than 1000 peer-reviewed papers and is one of the world’s most cited immunologists.

Dr. Flavell is a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Flavell served as the founding chair of Yale’s department of immunobiology for 28 years, stepping down in early 2016. Prior to joining Yale in 1988, Dr. Flavell was an assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam; head of the Laboratory of Gene Structure and Expression at the National Institute for Medical Research in the UK; and president and chief scientific officer of Biogen Research Corporation in Cambridge, Mass.

He received his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Hull in England, and performed postdoctoral work at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Zurich.

October/November 2017 (Vol. 9, Number 10 & 11)