Ronald N. GermainEMBO Keynote speaker
Immune System Biology | Laboratory of Immune System Biology, NIH, USA

Dr. Germain received his Sc.B. and Sc.M. from Brown University in 1970 and his M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School and Harvard University in 1976. From 1976 to 1982, he served as an instructor, assistant professor, and associate professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School. From 1982 to 1987, he worked as a senior investigator in the Laboratory of Immunology (LI). In 1987, he was appointed chief of the Lymphocyte Biology Section. In 1994, Dr. Germain was named deputy chief of LI. In 2006, he became director of the NIAID Program in Systems Immunology and Infectious Disease Modeling, which became the Laboratory of Systems Biology in 2011 and for which he served as Chief. In 2018 he became the Chief of the Laboratory of Immune System Biology, which incorporated the Laboratories of Immunology and Systems Biology into the key immunology program in NIAID. Since receiving his doctoral degrees, he has led a laboratory investigating basic immunobiology. He and his colleagues have made key contributions to our understanding of MHC class II molecule structure–function relationships, the cell biology of antigen processing, and the molecular basis of T cell recognition.
More recently, his laboratory has explored the relationship between immune tissue organization and control of immunity studied using dynamic and static in situ microscopic methods that his laboratory helped pioneer. His group also conducts research in quantitative modeling of immune signaling circuits and in the broader application of the methods of systems biology to immunological questions. He has published nearly 400 scholarly research papers and reviews and serves on the editorial boards of many scientific journals.
Among his numerous honors, he was elected as an associate (foreign) member of EMBO (2008), elected to the National Academy of Medicine (2013) and to the National Academy of Science (2016), received the Meritorious Career Award from the American Association of Immunologists (2015), was chosen as NIAID outstanding mentor, 2016, and has been designated an NIH distinguished investigator. He has trained more than 70 postdoctoral fellows, many of whom hold senior academic and administrative positions at leading universities and medical schools.
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Major Areas of Research
  • Intravital imaging, analysis, and modeling of immune cell dynamics and in vivo activity
  • Control of cell migration and cell-cell interactions by structural and chemical cues
  • Multiplex imaging of cell phenotype, signaling, and function in complex tissues
  • Systems-level analysis of immune cell signaling and responses to infection
  • Human immune analysis using systems biology methods
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