Philippa Marrack, PhD, Elected to National Women’s Hall of Fame

National Jewish Health Immunologist Recognized for Discoveries about T Cells


MARCH 10, 2015

DENVER, CO — Philippa Marrack, PhD, has been elected to the National Women’s Hall of Fame in recognition of her many discoveries about T cells, a vitally important element of the immune system. The award was announced today at a press conference held in Seneca Falls, N.Y., home of the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

The National Women’s Hall of Fame seeks to enhance the public’s understanding of American history and culture by showcasing and preserving the stories of pioneering American women whose achievements have enduring value, are of national importance, and have significance both in the United States and the world.  Dr. Marrack will be officially inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame during ceremonies Oct. 2-4 in Seneca Falls.

Dr. Marrack, working with her husband John Kappler, PhD, has made numerous important scientific discoveries that have had an impact on the health of millions of people throughout the world. She has devoted her career to understanding T cells, which recognize foreign invaders in the body and orchestrate the specific immune response that defends the body from disease.

Drs. Marrack and Kappler have discovered how T cells develop, function and occasionally malfunction. Among their most noteworthy discoveries are unraveling the process that allows effective T cells to mature, while destroying dangerous T cells. They discovered the T-cell receptor, which recognizes specific pathogens and orchestrates a focused attack against them. They also discovered superantigens, extremely virulent toxins that cause an overwhelming and disastrous immune response, such as occurs in toxic shock syndrome.

Dr. Marrack is the Chair of Biomedical Research at National Jewish Health where she has had a research laboratory for 35 years. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, and is an investigator with the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Dr. Marrack has received the Rockefeller University’s Pearl Meister Greengard Prize Recognizing Outstanding Women Scientists, a L'ORÉAL - UNESCO Women In Science Award, and been named to the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame. Drs. Marrack and Kappler have won numerous national and international awards in recognition of their status as two of the most influential immunologists in the world.

In addition to her scientific accomplishments, throughout her careers Dr. Marrack has contributed to the education of new generations of research scientists and physicians through fellowships in her laboratory and teaching immunology courses to graduate and medical students.

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 118 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive, coordinated care. To learn more, visit the media resources page.



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