Ronald N. Germain received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1976 Since that time he has investigated basic immunobiology, first on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and, since 1982, as the Chief, Lymphocyte Biology Section in the Laboratory of Immunology and now as Chief of the Laboratory of Systems Biology at NIAID, NIH. He and his colleagues have made key contributions to our understanding of MHC class II molecule structure-function relationships, the cell biology of antigen processing, and the molecular basis of T cell recognition. More recently, his laboratory has explored the relationship between immune tissue organization and control of immunity studied using dynamic and static in situ microscopic methods that his laboratory helped pioneer. He has published more than 300 scholarly research papers and reviews. Among numerous honors, he was elected as an Associate (foreign) member of EMBO (2008), elected to the National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences USA (2013), received the Meritorious Career Award from the American Association of Immunologists (2015), chosen as NIAID Outstanding Mentor, 2016, elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and has been designated an NIH Distinguished Investigator. He has trained more than 70 postdoctoral fellows, several of whom hold senior academic and administrative positions at leading universities and medical schools.

Research Interests

Ronald N. Germain's laboratory is interested in the fundamental mechanisms that underlie how the immune system operates in health and disease. His research group has made key contributions to understanding Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) molecule structure-function, the cell biology of antigen processing and presentation, and how T cells signal in response to peptide-MHC ligands. Over the last 15 years, he and his colleagues have pioneered the use of in vivo dynamic and multiplex static imaging to uncover new insights into how the innate and adaptive immune systems are spatially organized, how their component cells behave dynamically, and how fine grained tissue organization and cell movement combine to provide effective host defense against unpredictable threats at unanticipated sites in the body. He has also played a major role in bringing computational modeling into use in modern immunology and in applying systems biology approaches to basic and clinical research on the immune system.

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Primary Section

Section 43: Immunology and Inflammation