Michael Lenardo, M.D., Chief, Molecular Development of the Immune System Section NIAID/DIR, joins Rich Bendis on BioTalk to discuss his work at NIH, his recent election to the National Academy of Medicine, and advice for fellow scientists
Michael Lenardo attended the Johns Hopkins University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Sciences in 1977. He then attended Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. and obtained his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) in 1981. He carried out clinical and research training at the University of Iowa from 1981-1985. He was then a Research Fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an adjunct appointment at Harvard Medical School. During this time, he carried out molecular biology research under the mentorship of Nobel laureates David Baltimore and Philip Sharp. He was then appointed Section Chief in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health from 1989 to the present, directing research on T-lymphocyte regulation, HIV-1, and genetic diseases of the immune system. He has served on the editorial boards for the European Journal of Immunology, the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Science magazine, and Biology Direct. He is an Adjunct Professor of Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University. He has founded or co-founded several joint research programs including the NIH-Oxford-Cambridge Biomedical Research Scholars, the NIH-University of Pennsylvania Immunology Program, the NIH-Marshall Scholars, the NIH-Rhodes Scholars, the National M.D./Ph.D. partnership program, and the NIH-Institut Pasteur Infectious Disease and Immunology Program.
Dr. Lenardo has published over 200 scholarly works and holds a number of medical patents. He discovered the propriocidal mechanism of immune regulation and his work has defined several genetic diseases of the immune system including the Autoimmune Lymphoproliferative Syndrome, Caspase-8 deficiency syndrome, and X-linked magnesium deficiency with EBV and neoplasia (XMEN) disease. He is currently the Director of the Clinical Genomics Program and Chief of the Molecular Development of the Immune System Section, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health. Among his honors and awards, he is Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.), conferred by Queen Elizabeth II, March, 2006 and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Medicine.
He is married to Lesley-Anne Furlong, M.D. and has two sons, Brian and Timothy.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is one of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). NIAID's mission is to conduct basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases.
NIAID has "intramural" (in-house) laboratories in Maryland and Montana, and funds research conducted by scientists at institutions in the United States and throughout the world. NIAID also works closely with partners in academia, industry, government, and non-governmental organizations in multifaceted and multidisciplinary efforts to address emerging health challenges such as the pandemic H1N1/09 virus.