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Former NIAID Immunologist Stone Mourned

Dr. Sanford Herbert Stone, research immunologist at NIH for 40 years and international leader in the field of adoptive immunity, died in his home at Mt. Airy, Md., in late 2003 at age 82; a memorial service was held Sept. 3 at Arlington National Cemetery.

"Sandy" Stone was born and reared in New York City. His studies at the City College of New York were interrupted by World War II. He enlisted in the Army in 1942, serving as medical technician. After his military service, he returned to the United States and completed his B.A. at CCNY in 1947.

Dr. Sanford H. Stone
Subsequently, Stone returned to France to conduct his doctoral studies at the University of Paris, Sorbonne, in the Pasteur Institute. In 1951, he was awarded the doctor of science degree. His first postdoctoral position was at Johns Hopkins University, where he conducted pioneering studies on Pavlovian learning and immune responses. His research on cellular immunity began in 1955 at the New York City University laboratory of Dr. Jules Freund. He continued under Freund as head of the allergy and hypersensitivity section at the Laboratory of Immunology, which Freund founded at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 1957.

Stone was an expert on hypersensitivity, especially the delayed-type hypersensitivity, autoimmune disease and the experimental use of immunity-modulating adjuvants. He characterized and further developed two inbred strains of guinea pig with which he paved a new and incisive strategy, which he called "adoptive immunity," to study immunologic mechanisms that might underlie the cause of hypersensitivity disease in humans. Stone developed a model of multiple sclerosis (chronic experimental allergic encephalomyelitis) in the guinea pig, and then used his strategy to elucidate mechanisms of such human chronic (relapsing), progressive autoimmune disease and possible modes of treatment. He and Geoffrey Asherson of London Hospital were prescient in their basic discovery of competitive pathways of immune cell stimulation they called "immune deviation."

Stone founded the Anciens Eleves de l'Institute Pasteur at NIH in 1959. Their get-togethers at the national meetings of the Association of American Immunologists became a highlight, and "section Amerique du nord" was added to the name. When Freund died, Stone initiated and hosted an international series of annual Jules Freund memorial lectures and receptions at NIH.

Deeply concerned about expanding educational opportunity for all, Stone dedicated 15 years to this end, joining two colleagues, Dr. Arthur Saz of Georgetown University and Dr. Wallace Rowe of NIAID, in 1961 to launch an undergraduate and graduate evening program of microbiology, virology and immunology instruction and research at Howard University, under Dr. Marie Clark Taylor, chair of the botany department. Many NIH research and clinical staff fellows also trained and collaborated with him.

Stone was a member of various societies including the New York Academy of Science, Society for Leukocyte Biology and Pasteur Foundation. He spent several years in the NIAID Laboratory of Microbial Immunity and remained at NIH until his retirement in 1995, whereupon he immediately became a full-time volunteer at NIAID for several years.

Stone played lacrosse into his sixties and loved music, calypso dancing, books, things French, people and liberal causes. He is survived by Audrey Larack Stone, his wife of 50 years; their sons, Roger Marc of Mt. Airy, Leland Scott of San Francisco, and Andrew Larack of Mt. Airy and three grandchildren.

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