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Manfred M. Mayer was the sixtieth president of the American Association of Immunologists, serving from 1976 to 1977. Mayer, who is renowned for his pioneering studies of complement, was a member of the faculty at the Johns Hopkins University for nearly four decades, first in the School of Hygiene and Public Health (1946–1959) and later in the School of Medicine (1959–1984).
Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Mayer immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of 17 in 1933 as Hitler was consolidating power. After receiving his B.S. in physical chemistry from the City College of New York, Mayer studied immunochemistry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S), where he was an assistant in Michael Heidelberger’s (AAI ’35, president 1946–1947, 1948–1949) laboratory from 1938 to 1942 and a member of the scientific staff of the Office of Scientific Research and Development during the Second World War. He received his Ph.D. in 1946 and remained at P&S as an instructor in biochemistry for one year before joining the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health as an assistant professor in bacteriology in 1946. He became an associate professor two years later. In 1959, he accepted an appointment as associate professor of microbiology in the School of Medicine, where he was promoted to full professor the following year. Mayer held this position for the next 24 years, until his death in 1984.
Vice President: 1975–1976
The Journal of Immunology
Associate Editor: 1949–1958, 1962–1974
Editorial Board: 1977–1981
Ad hoc Committee on Public Relations: 1972–1973
Awards Committee: 1978–1979
AAI Representative to FASEB Board: 1975–1978
AAI Representative to FASEB Executive Committee: 1975–1978
"Mechanism of Cytolysis by Lymphocytes: A Comparison with Complement," Delivered April 6, 1977
The Journal of Immunology 119, no. 4 (1977): 1195–1203.