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Carl F. Nathan Joins Rita Allen Foundation Board of Directors

Carl F. Nathan, R.A. Rees Pritchett Professor and chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medicine, has been elected to the Rita Allen Foundation Board of Directors.

Nathan, whose term begins immediately, is one of the world’s premier researchers in immunology and microbiology. His research explores host defense and pathogen resistance—seeking to better understand and improve how the immune system kills antigen by focusing on M. tuberculosis (Mtb) and the host’s interaction with it.

He led the planning team for the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute and currently chairs its board of directors. In addition, Nathan is co-chair of the editorial board of the Journal of Experimental Medicine and serves on the editorial boards of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Science Translational Medicine. He is also associate scientific director of the Cancer Research Institute and serves as a governor, trustee, and chair of the Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation. A 1984 Rita Allen Scholar, Nathan has been a member of the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee since 2006, helping to support a new generation of leaders in discovery science.

“Carl is a force for science and civic science. In addition to his groundbreaking discoveries and work supporting early-career scientists, he brings deep interest and experience in developing partnerships in science and society,” said Elizabeth Good Christopherson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Rita Allen Foundation. “As we work to support transformative ideas and innovators, we are grateful for Carl’s expertise and long-standing commitment to expanding the common good through the work of the Foundation.”

A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, Nathan trained in internal medicine and oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Yale and joined The Rockefeller University from 1977-1986. At Weill Cornell Medicine thereafter, he served as Stanton Griffis Distinguished Professor of Medicine, founding director of the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program, acting dean, and chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. In the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, he served as co-chair of the Program in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis and then dean.

(Video: Weill Cornell Medicine)

Nathan shared, “It is a privilege to join a group that is committed to helping citizens appreciate what science is and isn’t and how it can be a force for good. Helping scientists engage with communities is fundamental for building and restoring trust in evidence-based thinking.” 

Nathan is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received numerous awards, including the Robert Koch Prize for his research on mechanisms of defense against bacterial pathogens, the Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Senior International Scientist Award, and the Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine. He served for ten years on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research and the Board of Trustees of the Hospital for Special Surgery. He has been an editor of the Journal of Experimental Medicine since 1981 and joined the editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2014. In addition to the Rita Allen Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee, he has served on the scientific advisory board of the American Asthma Foundation and on the jury of the Lurie Prize.

The Rita Allen Foundation invests in discoveries in their earliest stages in biomedical research, civic science, and philanthropic practice. Through the Foundation’s work in civic science, it seeds networks to accelerate learning, inclusion, and impact to ensure that science and evidence help to inform solutions to society’s most pressing problems. Making progress toward this goal requires building new knowledge and collaborations across many sectors.