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Honors for immunologist

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2004 - Spring


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.

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