Scientists from around the world gathered in November to honor the late Richard K. Gershon, M.D. ’59, 20 years after his death and 30 years after his discovery of suppressor T cells.
Gershon started his career as a pathologist and switched his focus to immunology when he began working on a tumor model in hamsters. His discovery was initially greeted with skepticism, but suppressor T cells, which reduce the immune response of other cells to antigens, are now seen as vitally important in a variety of diseases. In recognition of his work, Gershon was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1980.
A lecture has been held in his honor each year since his untimely death in 1983, but this year the Section of Immunobiology and his family noted his passing with a symposium that featured leaders in suppressor T cell research.