Garvan’s Executive Director, Professor Chris Goodnow, has received international honour, with The American Association of Immunologists (AAI) bestowing him the AAI-BioLegend Herzenberg Award. The award recognises his outstanding contributions to the field of immunology, in B-cell biology.
Professor Goodnow pioneered the use of DNA technology and genome sequencing to understand how the immune system uses checkpoints to recognise ‘self’ and ‘non-self’– and, in particular, how these processes go awry in autoimmune diseases, which occur when the body attacks its own cells.
B cells make the antibodies that protect us against infection from pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses. Professor Goodnow’s work has progressed the understanding of how B cells discriminate between the body’s own cells and foreign cells.
His work has led to the discovery of critical, entirely unknown functions of fourteen essential genes controlling the immune system, as well as four previously unrecognised genes important in neurodegeneration and infertility.
“I’m thrilled that the contributions of my team have been recognised by the Herzenberg Award. Len Herzenberg’s team invented the multiple parameter cell sorter, making our single-cell analysis of immune checkpoints possible,” says Professor Goodnow.
It is the first time the award has been given to someone outside the United States, since it was established in 2015.
Professor Goodnow’s research contributions have been recognised by numerous other awards, including the AAI Pharmingen Investigator Award, AAI Distinguished Lecturer, Australasian Society for Immunology Burnet Orator, Gottschalk Medal, Health Minister’s Prize, Centenary Medal, Ramaciotti Medal, GSK Award for Research Excellence, William E. Paul Award.
He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Fellow of the Royal Society (UK), and Member of the US National Academy of Sciences.
Professor Goodnow holds The Bill and Patricia Ritchie Foundation Chair as Head of the Immunogenomics laboratory, is an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow, and is Professor and Director of the Cellular Genomics Futures Institute at UNSW Sydney.