The keynote speaker is Dr. Jonathan Yewdell, an eminent scientist in the Cellular Biology and Viral Immunology Sections of the Laboratory of Viral Diseases within the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH.
Dr. Yewdell grew up in Eastchester, NY, just a few miles from New York City. After public high school, he majored in biochemistry at Princeton University graduating in 1975. He became hooked on research during his senior thesis with Arnie Levine, who had him studying immune rejection of adenovirus transformed cells. Though their approach was hopelessly naïve (reverberations of Z & D's discovery in Australia had yet to hit), he developed an interest in immune recognition of virus-infected cells that would become the major focus of his Ph.D. dissertation and career. Art Levinson, then a Ph.D. student, conveyed his boundless enthusiasm for science and the importance of critical thinking.
Dr. Yewdell obtained his Ph.D. in 1981 from the University of Pennsylvania and then worked at the Wistar Institute with Walter Gerhard, who was the first to generate anti-viral monoclonal antibodies. He contributed to Walter's grand project of antigenic mapping of influenza virus hemagglutinin with monoclonal antibodies, and also generated and characterized monoclonal antibodies to many other viral proteins, some which became standards in the flu field. During the same period,he managed to barely meet the requirements for an M.D. degree (1981).
A one-year post-doc at Imperial College (London, UK) with David Lane, the co-discoverer of p53 (along with Arnie Levine [small world]) taught him the importance of cell biology and particularly the power of microscopy.
Returning to the Wistar Institute as a newly minted Assistant Professor in 1983, Dr. Yewdell re-initiated the collaboration with Jack Bennink (also on the Wistar faculty by then) that began in 1981 when that group provided the first demonstration of CTL recognition of internal proteins of a non-transforming virus. They mapped the influenza virus antigens recognized by mouse CTLs, and provided the initial description of immunodominance at the level of individual viral gene products. At the same time they used mAbs to demonstrate conformational alterations in flu HA during viral penetration and HA biogenesis. The team's last discovery at Wistar was that the cytosol is the portal to the class I processing pathway.
In 1987, they were recruited by Bernie Moss to NIAID where they established a joint lab, first in a new satellite facility in Rockville and then four years later at the main campus in Bethesda. They were fortunate to attract the first in a succession of wonderful, hard working and talented post-doctoral fellows. In Rockville, ther team discovered the effects of brefeldin A on Golgi to ER trafficking and antigen presentation, provided the first direct evidence for proteolysis in the class I pathway and the ability of viral proteins to block antigen presentation. In Bethesda, theu discovered NH2-terminal trimming of peptides in the ER, the astounding fraction (30%!?) of nascent proteins that are rapidly degraded by proteasomes, the role of DRiPs (and immunoribosomes???) in generating antigenic peptides, the contribution of the myriad factors that contribute to immunodominance, the dependence of cross-priming on proteasome substrates, the involvement of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway in HIV morphogenesis, PB1-F2, the 11th influenza A virus gene product and the first visualization of anti-viral immunity via intravital microscopy. Most recently they discovered stress induced-conditional decoding of Met, and, returning to an old interest, developed a new model for hemagglutinin antigenic drift and provided the most compelling evidence to date for protein translation in the nucleus.
Dr. Yewdell is tremendously proficient and focused with a mission to extend basic understanding of the interaction between the immune system and viruses using mouse infection models. He has been very concerned about the development of young scientists for several years. In this regard he has written several articles about training scientists. He is also the former postdoctoral mentor of Dr. Laurence (Ike) Eisenlohr from Jefferson’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
The Distinguished Mentor Award, Friend of the JPA award, and best oral and poster presentations awards will be presented immediately following the keynote address.
All are invited to view the posters, attend the talks, and meet the postdoc presenters throughout the day. There will be a reception to close out the day in Hamilton Lobby.
For more information please contact Lisa Kozlowski at the JGSBS Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (215) 503-5750, or the PRS Planning Committee.