MINNEAPOLIS, MN- May 1, 2020 – Marc Jenkins, PhD, director of the Center for Immunology and Regents' and Distinguished McKnight Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). He is the first U of M Medical School faculty member to be elected to the NAS in 50 years.

The prestigious society announced on April 27 the election of 120 members and 26 international members in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Established in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Scientists are elected by their peers to membership in recognition of their distinguished and ongoing achievements in original research. Membership is widely considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive. Current membership totals approximately 2,400 members and 500 foreign associates.

Known as one of the world’s most distinguished immunologists, Jenkins investigates how CD4+ T and B cells respond to antigens. His groundbreaking research has advanced the field of immunology, leading to the development of more effective vaccines and better treatments for autoimmune diseases and improved success in transplantation and cancer immunotherapy. He has recently been recognized for his role in the Medical School’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the development of antibody testing now in clinical use. 

His work appears frequently in the top journals, including Cell, Nature, Science, Immunity, and Nature Immunology. He is the recipient of many national research awards including the PEW Scholars Award, NIH MERIT Award and the American Association of Immunologist’s Meritorious Career Award. From the University of Minnesota, he received a Distinguished McKnight University Professor award (2002), the Academic Health Center Academy for Excellence in Health Research Award (2004), the Medical School’s Senior Investigator Award (2011) and a Medical School Dean’s Distinguished Lectureship (2015).

Earlier this year, Jenkins received the American Association of Immunologists' Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of a remarkable career of scientific achievement and contributions to AAI and the field of immunology.


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Kelly Glynn
Media Relations Coordinator
University of Minnesota Medical School