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National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Thursday, April 13, 2000

Media Contact:
James Hadley
(301) 402-1663

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Dr. Susan Pierce Named Chief of NIAID's Laboratory of Immunogenetics

Susan K. Pierce, Ph.D., has been appointed chief of the Laboratory of Immunogenetics at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Bethesda, MD, a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Pierce comes to NIH from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where she was the William A. and Gayle Cook Chair in the Biological Sciences and, since 1987, a biochemistry professor in the department of biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology. She was chair of the department from 1990 to 1993.

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., NIAID director, says, "Dr. Pierce brings a wealth of scientific experience and accomplishment to our immunogenetics research program."

"We are pleased to have Dr. Pierce provide leadership and her expertise to the Laboratory of Immunogenetics," says Thomas J. Kindt, Ph.D., director of NIAID's Division of Intramural Research (DIR). Dr. Pierce has served the DIR as a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors, an advisory board.

The Laboratory of Immunogenetics is part of the NIAID DIR. The laboratory is composed of five sections, each headed by an investigator studying topics related to the immune system in health and disease. Techniques in molecular biology, cell biology and structural biology are used to study basic immune mechanisms by which the immune system is activated in healthy humans. Knowledge gained by the studies may lead to the design of better, more effective vaccines and therapies to boost the immune response in cancer, or to dampen the immune system in autoimmune disease.

Dr. Pierce's research in the area of antigen processing and presentation has been supported by NIH grants. She was the recipient of a Merit Award from NIAID. The author of numerous scientific publications, Dr. Pierce served as deputy editor of the Journal of Immunology from 1992 to 1997, and she was a member of the editorial board of Critical Reviews in Immunology from 1991 to 1999. She is a member of the American Association of Immunologists.

Dr. Pierce received a master's degree in microbiology from Yale University in 1974 and earned her doctorate in immunology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976.

NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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NIAID Archive

Important note: Information on this page was accurate at the time of publication. This page is no longer being updated.

Last Updated April 13, 2000