Vol 9. Issue 3 / January 26, 2009

Argyrios Theofilopoulos Named Chair of the Department of Immunology and Microbial Science

The Scripps Research Institute has announced that Argyrios Theofilopoulos, a professor at Scripps Research and acting chair of the Department of Immunology and Microbial Science, has been named permanent chair of that department.

"I am delighted that Ari has agreed to take on the position of chair of the Department of Immunology and Microbial Science," said Scripps Research President Richard A. Lerner. "The enthusiasm and steady focus on scientific excellence he brings to the position are a tremendous asset to the department and to the institute as a whole."

Gerald Joyce, dean of the faculty, added, "Ari understands the precious freedom and self-determinism that our faculty enjoy, and how this is crucial for fostering scientific innovation. He is well aware of the current financial challenges, but also of the many exciting scientific opportunities that lie ahead in the areas of immunology, microbiology, and microbial pathogenesis. I am confident that he will maintain the level of excellence that has long been associated with his department."

Theofilopoulos has been serving as acting chair since February 2008, when Professor Richard Ulevitch stepped down to focus on his research and business ventures. During the past year, Theofilopoulos has overseen the successful integration of immunologists and microbial scientists within the newly expanded and renamed department—currently comprised of 36 faculty members, 4 professors emeritus, and 14 non-tenure-track appointees—while maintaining his own vigorous research program.

A graduate of the University of Athens Medical School, Theofilopoulos came to Scripps Research (then the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation) in 1972, after completing his residency at King Paul's Hospital in Athens and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He is currently investigating the role of specific genes and of genetic susceptibility in systemic autoimmune diseases, such as lupus erythematosus, to define disease pathogenesis and to develop new treatments; he also is studying the importance of T-cell homeostasis in autoimmunity, aging, and the treatment of cancer.

Theofilopoulos is a member of a number of scientific societies, has received several honorary doctoral degrees, and is a corresponding member of the Academy of Athens and an editor of a major text on autoimmune diseases (Molecular Pathology of Autoimmune Diseases) as well as editor of the ongoing "Current Directions in Autoimmunity" series. He has published approximately 300 original papers and book chapters in this area, and has trained a number of fellows who now hold professorships in the United States and abroad.

Theofilopoulos's position as chair of the Department of Immunology and Microbial Science was effective on January 20, Inauguration Day.

For more information on Theofilopoulos, see his faculty web page and the Theofilopoulos/Kono website.


Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu



Scripps Research Professor Argyrios Theofilopoulos's position as chair of the Department of Immunology and Microbial Science became effective on January 20, Inauguration Day.