Dr. William Paul today (l) and in 1971, when he became LI chief
2011 marks the 40th anniversary of Dr. William Paulís tenure as chief of NIAIDís Laboratory of Immunology. Paul, a leading immunologist best known for his work in cytokine biology, is one of NIHís Distinguished Investigators.
Paul joined NIAID in 1968. Three years later, he was named chief of the Laboratory
of Immunology. He and his colleagues performed key experiments that led to the discovery and characterization of the cell-signaling molecule interleukin
4 (IL-4). They demonstrated that IL-4 is critical for B-cell production of the antibody immunoglobulin E, a central player in allergic diseases. Paulís research team was the first to determine the requirements for the differentiation
of naive CD4+ T cells into specialized effector T cells.
The Laboratory of Immunology continues to pursue basic research studies of the immune system, including investigations into how the dysregulation of the immune system results in autoimmune disease. Paulís specific focus includes studying the functions of IL-4, CD4+ T-cell development, function and plasticity
and the induction and maintenance of immunologic memory.
As lab chief, Paul has trained and mentored more than 80 postdoctoral fellows, three of whom are now members of the National Academy of Sciences. Additionally,
several current NIH lab chiefs are former members of his lab, including
Dr. Ronald Germain, chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Systems Biology, and Dr. Ronald Schwartz, chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular
From 1994 to 1997, Paul also served as director of the NIH Office of AIDS Research, where he invigorated HIV vaccine research and development and played a key role in the creation of the NIAID Vaccine Research Center.
For his contributions to the field of immunology, Paul has received numerous awards, including the 1980 Founderís Prize of the Texas Instruments Foundation,
the 1988 3M Life Sciences Award from the Federation of American Societies
for Experimental Biology and the 2008 Max DelbrŁck Medal from the Max DelbrŁck Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin. He also has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Association of Immunologists
and the International Cytokine Society. Paul is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received six honorary degrees.
Currently, Paul chairs the scientific advisory board of the Lupus Research Institute.
He is the founding editor-in-chief of the Annual Review of Immunology, now in its 30th volume, and editor of the textbook Fundamental Immunology, the seventh edition of which is now in pre-production..