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The American Association of Immunologists

Notable Members

Over the course of the past century, a number of AAI members have been awarded the highest honors in the scientific world. The distinguished membership of AAI has included 25 Nobel Laureates, 50 Lasker recipients, and more than 200 recipients of a dozen of the most prestigious national and international awards for science and immunology.

Nobel Prize

First awarded in 1901, the Nobel Prize is recognized internationally as the most prestigious award conferred upon scientists for achievements in physiology or medicine, chemistry, and physics. Karl Landsteiner (AAI '22) was the first active member awarded a Nobel Prize, receiving the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for his discovery of human blood groups." The 1919 prize had been conferred on Jules Bordet (AAI '60) "for his discoveries related to immunity," but Bordet, who resided in Belgium, was not elected an honorary member of AAI for another four decades.

Of the 25 Nobel Laureates who were members of AAI, 24 were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Only Wendell Stanley, who received the 1946 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was recognized in another category.

In 2011, Bruce Beutler and Ralph M. Steinman became the two most recent AAI members to be awarded the Nobel Prize. Beutler (AAI '06) was recognized for his "discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity," and Steinman (AAI '75) for his "discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity."

Click here to read profiles of all 25 Nobel Laureates who were members of AAI.

Lasker Awards

Since 1946, the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation has recognized outstanding contributions to biomedical science. The Lasker Awards, presented in the categories of "Basic Medical Research," "Clinical Medical Research," "Public Service," and "Special Achievement in Medical Science," are widely recognized as the highest honors bestowed upon medical scientists by an American organization. Because 83 Lasker recipients have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize, the Lasker Awards have earned the nickname, "America's Nobels."

AAI members' accomplishments have been recognized by the Lasker Foundation since the awards were first presented. Karl Landsteiner (AAI '22), Philip Levine (AAI '25), and Alexander S. Wiener (AAI '32) shared the inaugural Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award in 1946. In all, 50 AAI members have received Lasker Awards, and at least one AAI member has been recognized in each of the four award categories. The three AAI members most recently recognized by the Lasker Foundation are Ralph M. Steinman (AAI '75), who received the 2007 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, and Anthony Fauci (AAI '73), who was presented with the Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service in the same year, and James P. Allison (AAI '78), who was the recipient of the 2015 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award.

Click here to learn more about all 50 AAI members who have received Lasker Awards.

Distinguished Scientific Awards

The outstanding contributions of AAI members to immunology and science have been recognized both nationally and internationally. AAI members have been awarded several of the most distinguished scientific awards from organizations and foundations in the United States, including the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal (5 AAI member recipients), the FASEB Excellence in Science Award (5 AAI member recipients), the National Medal of Science (9 AAI member recipients), the Novartis Basic and Clinical Immunology Prizes (27 AAI member recipients), and the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology (46 AAI member recipients). Among the many international awards that AAI members have received are the Avery-Landsteiner Prize (Germany; 14 AAI member recipients), the Emil von Behring Prize (Germany; 19 AAI member recipients), the Gairdner Award (Canada; 38 AAI member recipients), the Robert Koch Prize (Germany; 26 AAI member recipients), the Robert Koch Gold Medal (Germany; 13 AAI member recipients), the Kyoto Prize (Japan; 2 member recipients), L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science (3 AAI Member recipients), and the Wolf Prize in Medicine (Israel; 6 AAI member recipients).

Click here to see a full listing of AAI awardees and description of the award.

 


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