Symposium to mark 100 years of Department of Pathology & Immunology

Scientists from across the country will gather Sept. 20 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Department of Pathology & Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Like the Department of Medicine and the Department of Pediatrics, pathology & immunology traces its roots to a 1909 critique of the School of Medicine known as the Flexner Report. All three departments were created a year later in a reorganization that was conducted in response to the report’s suggestions.

Andrey Shaw, MD, the Emil R. Unanue Professor of Immunobiology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, is one of the centennial organizers.

According to Shaw, a hallmark of the department has been its commitment to fundamental science research, particularly in the area of immunology, as a basis for insights into the pathogenesis of disease.

Shaw says that another one of the department’s many accomplishments was contributing to an important transformation in the field of pathology in the 1940s and ’50s.

“Up until that point, pathology was focused mainly on autopsy-based science,” Shaw says. “The idea that pathology would also include diagnosis of disease in patients prior to surgery began with people like Lauren Ackerman, who became chief surgical pathologist in 1948.”

“I am so proud of what we accomplish every day,” says Herbert W. “Skip” Virgin, the Edward Mallinckrodt Professor and head of pathology & immunology. “The 100th anniversary celebration will be a special occasion to celebrate our past, our community and the great promise of our future.”

The celebration begins with a welcome reception the evening of Sunday, Sept. 19, for out-of-town guests, continues in a symposium from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Eric P. Newman Education Center at the School of Medicine Monday, Sept. 20, and concludes with a banquet at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel that evening. The Sept. 20 symposium is free and open to the public.

The speakers at the symposium will be:

  • David Baltimore, PhD, the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology and president emeritus of the California Institute of Technology and a co-recipient of the 1975 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology;
  • Max D. Cooper, MD, the Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Immunology and professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Emory University School of Medicine;
  • Vishva M. Dixit, MD, former clinical pathology resident at Washington University and vice-president of physiological chemistry at Genentech;
  • Laurie Glimcher, MD, the Irene Heinz Given Professor of Immunology at the Harvard School of Public Health and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School;
  • Jules A. Hoffman, PhD, president of the French Academy of Sciences and research director of the French National Research Agency CNRS;
  • Susan L. Lindquist, PhD, professor of biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, member and former director of the Whitehead Institute and HHMI Investigator;
  • Tadatsugu Taniguchi, PhD, professor and chairman of the Department of Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine at the University of Tokyo; and
  • Irving L. Weissman, MD, professor of pathology and developmental biology and director of the Stanford University Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.

The banquet speaker will be 1996 Nobel co-laureate Peter Doherty, PhD, laureate professor at the University of Melbourne.