About Us

History of the Society

   After the unexpected death of Henry Kunkel in December of 1983, the idea was proposed for a Society to honor Henry's scientific life. Research based on observations of human disease, as a unique discipline at the forefront of ground braking biological discovery, was to be highlighted by the new Society. The intent was to use Henry's life as a role model for future generations of scientists interested in the biology of human disease.


The Society originally consisted of about 50 members, largely scientists who had trained in his laboratory at The Rockefeller University, but also friends and colleagues from across the world who had interacted with him during his lifetime. The Society was officially founded in 1990.

In the 1990s efforts were initiated to expand the society and by the year 2000 there were about 200-250 active members. New members were proposed annually by current members and their credentials reviewed by a membership committee. The membership still consisted of a) a shrinking number of original "Kunkelites" who had worked with Henry, b) a second generation of junior scientists trained by the Kunkelites, and c) a growing number of new members only indirectly familiar with Henry Kunkel.

In 2004 the long term goals and direction of the Society were reevaluated by advisory committees and at special meetings convened at Rockefeller University by the past President, Dr. Nick Chiorazzi. A major push to expand and modernize the society was initiated. The result is a vibrant society responsive to the needs of current day scientists as exemplified on this website.

Executive Committee

Jean-Laurent Casanova, President
Ann Marshak-Rothstein, Secretary
Eric Meffre, Treasurer
Keith Elkon, Immediate Past President

Membership Committee

Jane Salmon, Chair
Anne Davidson
Andreas Radbruch
Robert Thoburn
Vito Pistoia

Nominating Committee

Keith Elkon, Chair
Jean-Laurent Casanova
Michael Carroll
Jane Salmon
George Tsokos

Council Members

Ann Durandy (2017)
Pierre Miossec (2017)
Laurence Morel (2017)
Virginia Pascual (2017)
Ann Reed (2017)

Program Chair

Yanick Crow (2018)


Past presidents

Keith Elkon
Westley Reeves
Max D. Cooper
Mary K.(Peggy) Crow
Nick Chiorazzi
Peter Lachmann
John B. Zabriskie
J. Donald Capra
Jacob B. Natvig
Alexander Bearn
Eng M. Tan

Past program chairs

2017 - Stuart Tangye

2016 - Frederic Geissmann 

Past society lecturers

2017 - Carl Nathan

2016 - Michel Nussenzweig 

2015 - Yanick Crow
2014 - Shigekazu Nagata
2013 - Dan Kastner
2012 - Louis M. Staudt
2011 - Mark M. Davis
2010 - Frederick Alt
2009 - Thomas Tuschl
2008 - John Atkinson
2007 - Antonio Lanzavecchia
2006 - Ralph M. Steinman
2005 - Charles Weissmann
2004 - Diane Mathis
2003 - Fred Rosen
2002 - Tasuku Honjo
2001 - Fritz Melchers
2000 - Max D. Cooper
1999 - Peter Doherty
1998 - Klaus Rajewsky
1997 - Anthony Fauci
1996 - Jeffrey Ravetch
1994 - Benvenuto Pernis
1993 - David Ho
1992 - Louis Kunkel