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Richard A. Flavell, Ph.D., D.Sc.

Richard A. Flavell, Ph.D., D.Sc.

Richard A. Flavell, Ph.D., D.Sc., is Sterling Professor of Immunobiology at Yale University School of Medicine and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He performed his postdoctoral work in Amsterdam (1970-72) with Piet Borst and in Zurich (1972-73) with Charles Weissmann. Before accepting his current position in 1988, Dr. Flavell was first Assistant Professor (equivalent) at the University of Amsterdam (1974-79); then Head of the Laboratory of Gene Structure and Expression at the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London (1979-82); and subsequently President and Chief Scientific Officer of Biogen Research Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1982-88). He is a fellow of the Royal Society, a member of EMBO, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Flavell served as the founding Chairman of Yale’s Department of Immunobiology for 28 years, stepping down in early 2016. He is the co-discoverer of introns in cellular genes: he showed DNA methylation correlates inversely with, and prevents, gene expression. Dr. Flavell was the first to develop reverse genetics as a postdoc, and in his own lab continued in this field throughout his career. He is a pioneer and sophisticated practitioner in the use of this approach in vivo to study function. Dr. Flavell’s laboratory studies the molecular and cellular basis of the immune response, particularly as it applies to autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases. Recently, he elucidated mechanisms that regulate homeostasis between the microbiome and host. This work has, in part, led to the founding of Artizan Biosciences. He has published more than 1,000 peer reviewed papers and is one of the world’s most cited immunologists. Dr. Flavell received his B.Sc. (Honors) in 1967 and Ph.D. in 1970 in biochemistry from the University of Hull, England.

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