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The American Association of Immunologists

AAI History

On June 19, 1913, a group of physician-scientists gathered on the University of Minnesota campus to form a society devoted to a nascent medical specialty–immunology. Those present at this first meeting created a society that helped define this new field, and they called it The American Association of Immunologists (AAI).

For a century, AAI has fulfilled its founders' mission "to promote by its concerted efforts scientific research" through its annual meetings, The Journal of Immunology, awards, and the activities of its many committees. Today, as the largest and most prestigious association of immunologists in the world, AAI continues to champion the interests of its membership which has grown to include over 7,700 scientists in 70 countries.

AAI History Exhibit


The AAI Centennial Timeline, which debuted at IMMUNOLOGY 2013™, chronicles the advances in science and immunology made over the last century by AAI members and other scientists, placing those developments alongside key political and cultural events in U.S. and world history.

A digital version of the AAI Centennial Timeline is now available online. It includes all of the events and images from the original timeline and incorporates new content to provide a truly interactive experience—videos, citations and links to hundreds of digitally-available journal articles, and links to other sections of the AAI website where you can learn more about many of the individuals mentioned. The Timeline has been updated for IMMUNOLOGY 2016™.

This webpage is the companion site to the physical timeline and includes photo credits for the images used in that exhibit and acknowledgements for those who helped make the timeline a reality.

Oral History Project

The Oral History Project provides contemporary investigators and the public a rare view into the lives and times of influential 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.

History Articles

The AAI history articles, first published in the AAI Newsletter explore the role that AAI has played in defining and shaping the field of immunology. These articles highlight famous and some lesser-known members who have influenced both the association and the field.

Most recent:

A complete list of history articles can be found here.


Attendees at IMMUNOLOGY 2013™ and IMMUNOLOGY 2014™were invited to stop by the AAI StoryBooth in the convention center with their colleagues, mentors, collaborators, or friends to record their shared experiences as well as their thoughts on AAI and immunology. Watch their interviews here.

AAI Centennial

Click here to view AAI Centennial Proclamations.

For inquiries regarding issues of historic interest about the field of immunology, AAI history, The Journal of Immunology, or AAI members, please contact: John Emrich, Ph.D., Historian/Archivist, jemrich@aai.org; 301-634-7941


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