Endowed Chairs & Professorships

Ida & Cecil Green Professorship of Cell BiologyJohn Cambier, PhD

Learning the Language of Cells

An essential feature of the immune system is its ability to distinguish between self and non-self. Failure of this mechanism can result in autoimmunity diseases such as lupus or diabetes. An understanding of the molecular processes that underlie this discrimination may lead to new approaches to therapy and vaccine development. By funding this professorship, Ida & Cecil Green demonstrate their dedication to helping National Jewish Health produce results that add to our store of knowledge and our competence in overcoming disease.

John Cambier, PhD, was born in Springfield, Illinois.  He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in biology-chemistry in 1970 from Missouri State University.  He received a Master’s Degree in virology in 1972 from the University of Iowa.  He undertook fellowship studies in Mariensee, West Germany in 1974.  He received his PhD in Immunology-Virology in 1975, again at the University of Iowa.  Dr. Cambier also participated in a post-doctoral fellowship with the University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas.

Dr. Cambier’s professional experience in education and research spans the globe from the University of Texas, to Duke University, to working in West Germany, Switzerland, France and Australia, as well as Colorado.  He joined National Jewish Health in 1983.  During his tenure at National Jewish Health, he has served as a member of the Department of Medicine, as Heard of the Division of Basic Sciences in the Department of Pediatrics, and he is currently the Chairman of the Department of Immunology at National Jewish Health and the University of Colorado School of Medicine.  Dr. Cambier is the Ida and Cecil Green Endowed Professor of Cell Biology.  In addition, Dr. Cambier is a Research Associate at the Burnett Research Institute, University of Melbourne in Australia.

A leading authority on how immune cells interpret environmental queues during immune and inflammatory responses, Dr. Cambier has advanced medical science's understanding of how the body's immune system avoids autoimmunity.  His particular interests lie in understanding the basis of and devising novel therapeutic approaches for Type 1 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus.  He has won numerous awards over the years, as well as securing three patents in his field of research.  He continues to hold various positions and memberships to numerous professional and national committees, and advisory boards.


John C. Cambier, PhD
Professor, Department of Biomedical Research