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Vol. LXVI, No. 2
January 17, 2014

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August To Discuss Discoveries in T Cell Immune Responses, Jan. 22

Dr. Avery August of Cornell University
Dr. Avery August of Cornell University
Dr. Avery August will discuss “Nature versus Nurture: Tuning CD8+ T cell Responses” on Jan. 22 at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. His presentation is part of the NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS).

August has made critical discoveries in the area of T cell signaling. His work has focused on the Tec family of non-receptor tyrosine kinases in T cell function in the development of allergies and asthma and in the development of specific T cell populations. He has also made important discoveries on the function of eosinophils in regulating the development of allergic asthma.

For the WALS lecture, he poses the question: Are T cell immune responses more dependent on the properties of the antigen-specific receptors generated in the thymus during their development or the amount of signal that the T cell receives when the T cell receptor interacts with MHC complexes? He will address the implications of this work for the harvesting of T cells for immune responses against invading pathogens, including cancer.

Since 2010, August has held the position of professor of immunology and chair of the department of microbiology & immunology at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to Cornell, he was a distinguished professor of immunology in the department of veterinary & biomedical sciences and director of the Center for Molecular Immunology & Infectious Disease at Pennsylvania State University, where he started as an assistant professor in 1999.

August received a B.S. in medical technology from California State University at Los Angeles and, after earning his Ph.D. in immunology from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, was a postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University. He also served on the publications committee for the Journal of Immunology and on the committee for public affairs for the American Association of Immunologists. NIH has funded his program’s research on regulation of T cell activation and the development of lung immune responses since 2000.

August has also made important contributions to the training of underrepresented minorities in the sciences, working with and developing programs to enhance their participation. He developed the first NIH-funded Bridges to the Doctorate Program at Penn State, a collaboration between that school and Alcorn State University in Mississippi.

There will be a reception and an opportunity to talk with the speaker in the NIH Library following the lecture.

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