In honor of Donald C. Shreffler, a pioneer in immunogenetics
June 6, 2023
Stay tuned for more information!
The Donald C. Shreffler lecture was established in 1995 through a generous gift from Mrs. Dorothy Shreffler and sons, Dave and Doug, to honor the contributions of Donald C. Shreffler, PhD to Washington University in St. Louis and the scientific community. This lecture historically has featured scientists whose work utilizes mouse as the model for genetic analysis and each year brings an eminent mouse geneticist to Washington University to speak in this lectureship.
In 1967, a review of Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) called for the establishment of a department of genetics. In 1975, Donald Shreffler, a pioneer in immunogenetics, was recruited to Washington University and with support from the McDonnell Foundation, created the Department of Genetics and became its first Chair. Dr. Shreffler served as Professor of Genetics from 1975-1994, and from 1977-1984 he was the James S. McDonnell Professor and Head of the Department of Genetics.
Dr. Shreffler’s research centered on the studies of the structure and function of genes in the major histocompatibility complex. He became well known for his studies focused on the structure and function of genes in the H2 major histocompatibility region of the mouse. These genes are important in recognizing foreign molecules, playing a major role in tissue rejection and resistance to infectious agents. Dr. Shreffler was a towering figure in mouse genetics. His interest in mouse genetics let to the creation at WUSM of one of the finest mouse facilities anywhere in the country. In this facility, many inbred and congenial strains important for immunogenetic research were generated and then widely distributed for broader use.
By all accounts, Dr. Shreffler was a wonderful mentor who seeded the immunogenetics field with many of his outstanding trainees. He selflessly supported the careers of many fellow scientists, helping them to flourish and succeed. In 1980, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine and in 1982 to the National Academy of Sciences. He served as the seventy-first president of the American Association of Immunologists from 1987-1988.
Dr. Shreffler completed his tenure as head in 1984, but continued active research and teaching in the Department of Genetics until his death in 1994 at the age of 61.
A history of past Shreffler Lecturers
|2022||Karl Deisseroth, MD, PhD||Stanford University|
|2021||David Baker, PhD||University of Washington, Seattle|
|2019||Hopi Hoekstra, PhD||Harvard Medical School|
|2018||Cecilia Lo, PhD||University of Pittsburgh|
|2017||Richard Palmiter, PhD||University of Washington, Seattle|
|2016||Nancy Jenkins, PhD||Houston Methodist Research Institute|
|2015||Peter Donnelly, FRS||University of Oxford|
|2013||James McCluskey, PhD||University of Melbourne|
|2011||Bruce Beutler, MD, PhD||University of Texas, Southwestern|
|2010||Marisa Bartolomei, PhD||University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia|
|2009||John Todd, PhD||University of Oxford|
|2008||Brigid Hogan, PhD||Duke University|
|2007||Jean-Laurent Casanova, MD, PhD||Necker Medical School, Paris|
|2006||Rolf Zinkernagel, MD, PhD||University of Zürich|
|2005||Kathryn Anderson, PhD||Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center|
|2004||Jeffrey Frelinger, PhD||University of Arizona, Tucson|
|2003||Martina Brueckner, MD||Yale University|
|2002||Sally Camper, PhD||University of Michigan, Ann Arbor|
|2001||Henry Erlich, PhD||Baylor College of Medicine|
|1999||John Monaco, PhD||University of Cincinnati|
|1998||Keith Parker, MD, PhD||University of Texas, Southwestern|
|1997||Terry Magnuson, PhD||University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill|
|1996||Shirley Tilghman, PhD||Princeton University|
|1995||Stanley Nathenson, MD, PhD||Albert Einstein College|