News Release: School of Medicine

Jun. 4,  2009

New Chair of Microbiology and Immunology Named at Emory School of Medicine

Emory University School of Medicine has named Jeremy M. Boss, PhD, as chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, effective June 1. Boss currently is a professor in the department, where he has been a member of the School of Medicine faculty since 1986.  

"I am very pleased to announce that Jerry Boss will assume this key position in the Emory School of Medicine," says Dean Thomas J. Lawley, MD.  "For many years he has proven himself not only an outstanding researcher, but also a dedicated and inspiring leader for the many faculty he has mentored and the numerous students he has trained. I have no doubt that he will continue his outstanding leadership as department chair."

"The science represented by the Department of Microbiology and Immunology is exciting, forward thinking and critical to our ability to treat and prevent disease," says Boss. "I am excited to have the opportunity to build and lead this terrific department."

Boss replaces interim chair Charles Moran, PhD, and former chair Richard W. Compans, PhD, who stepped down last year to direct the Emory-University of Georgia Influenza Pathogenesis and Immunology Research Center, one of six national NIH-funded flu research centers of excellence. One of the world's leading research virologists, Compans became chair of the department in 1992 and built it into one of the premier departments of microbiology and immunology.

After receiving BS and PhD degrees from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany, Boss served as a postdoctoral fellow in molecular biology and immunology at Harvard University. His awards include the Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Award, the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship, and an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship Award.

Boss is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Immunology, one of the most cited publications in biomedicine.

He currently is principal investigator of three RO1 grants from the National Institutes of Health. His research focuses on molecular mechanisms of regulation of immune system genes; regulation of human major histocompatibility complex class II genes; regulation of genes by tumor necrosis factor; regulation of programmed death-1 (PD-1) gene and its relationship to T cell exhaustion and disease; and regulation of gene expression during vaccination.  

In addition to his teaching responsibilities in the School of Medicine, Boss has mentored several department faculty who have gained tenure and has trained 22 postdoctoral fellows and 22 PhD students, in addition to visiting scientists and numerous graduate students.

He is author of a popular book on careers in biomedical research -- Academic Scientists at Work: Navigating the Biomedical Career, and is a sought-after speaker for his informational and entertaining lectures on career issues. 


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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