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Immunologist Ruslan Medzhitov to give Max Birnstiel Lecture at the IMP

16 Jun 2015

Ruslan Medzhitov, Professor of Immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine, is ‘a giant in immunology’, according to Meinrad Busslinger, his host at the IMP. The discovery that Medzhitov is most famous for was the identification of the human receptor TLR4 (Toll-like receptor 4) in 1997. Such pattern recognition receptors are used by cells of the innate immune system to recognize typical structures of pathogens and to discern ‘self’ from ‘non-self’.  This first step is necessary to initiate further and more specific reactions by the adaptive immune system.

Ruslan Medzhitov’s discovery was a milestone in understanding how the immune system functions, as it provided the first direct evidence how innate immune cells upon infection can alert and control the adaptive immune system. He has since made many seminal contributions to immunology by deciphering the distinct physiological roles of innate immune receptors in controlling adaptive immunity under normal and disease conditions.

Other topics that are studied in Ruslan Medzhitov’s lab are the biology and physiology of inflammation, the mechanisms of autoimmunity and allergies, and infection biology.

“Inflammation, homeostasis and disease”
Wednesday, 17 June, 2015, 11:00 a.m.
IMP Lecture Hall
Dr. Bohr-Gasse 7, 4th floor
1030 Vienna

About Ruslan Medzhitov
Ruslan Medzhitov was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and earned a B.S. at Tashkent State University before going on to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry at Moscow University in 1990. He performed his postdoctoral studies with Charles A. Janeway Jr. at Yale University Medical School. At present, he is the David W. Wallace Professor of Immunobiology at Yale University Medical School and Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Medzhitov is a member of several societies, including the prestigious US National Academy of Sciences, and has received numerous awards, such as the Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine (2011).

About the Max Birnstiel Lectures
The Max Birnstiel Lectures are a special series of seminars at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna and represent the highest award that the IMP can give to outside scientists. They are named after the founding director of the institute, Max L. Birnstiel, who passed away in 2014. Each year, around six scientists of the life sciences are invited to deliver one of these lectures, among them a number of Nobel Prize laureates. The Max Birnstiel Lectures attract considerable attention on campus and within the wider scientific community and invariably draw a large audience to the IMP.

About the IMP
The Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna is a basic biomedical research institute largely sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim. With over 200 scientists from 35 nations, the IMP is committed to scientific discovery of fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying complex biological phenomena. Research areas include cell and molecular biology, , neurobiology, disease mechanisms and computational biology. The IMP is located at the Vienna Biocenter.

Heidemarie Hurtl
IMP Communications
T: +43 1 79730 3625
E: hurtl[at]

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