David Sachs, MD

Advisor and Co-Founder

Gerard Nepom, PhD


Diane Mathis, PhD


Scott Snapper, MD, PhD


Ananda Goldrath, PhD


David Sachs, MD   Advisor and Co-Founder

Dr. Sachs received his A.B. in Chemistry, Summa cum Laude, from Harvard College in 1963, a D.E.S. from the University of Paris in 1964, and his M.D., Magna cum Laude, from Harvard Medical School in 1968. He was a surgical resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston from 1968 to 1970. Subsequently, as an officer in the Public Health Service at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, he directed a program in transplantation research as Chief of the Immunology Branch, NCI. In 1991, he returned to the MGH as Director of the Transplantation Biology Research Center and the Paul S. Russell Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. In July 2015, he became Professor of Surgery at Columbia University Medical Center’s Center for Translational Immunology (CCTI). Dr. Sachs’ honors include the AST Distinguished Achievement Award (2005), the Martin Prize for Excellence in Clinical Research (2009), the Thomas E. Starzl Prize in Surgery and Immunology (2011) and the Medawar Prize (2014). Throughout his career, Dr. Sachs has worked at the interface between basic science and clinical applications in the field of transplantation. He has been an editor of several journals in his field, including Transplantation and Xenotransplantation, of which he was Founding Editor. He has published over 700 research articles and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Gerard Nepom, PhD   Advisor

Gerald (Jerry) Nepom received his A.B. magna cum laude (1972) from Harvard University and Ph.D. in Biochemistry (1977) and M.D. (1978) from the University of Washington (UW). After post-doctoral work in immunogenetics at Harvard Medical School, he joined the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington Medical School Faculty in 1982. Beginning in 1985, he founded the Immunology and Diabetes Research Programs at the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI), which now includes >250 staff with an annual budget of $65 million. Since 2010, he has also been the Director of the NIAID-sponsored Immune Tolerance Network (ITN), engaged in the design, implementation, and analysis of clinical trials and translational studies for transplantation, autoimmunity, and allergy. Dr. Nepom’s research interests are focused on identifying and understanding molecular and genetic mechanisms triggering of autoimmune disorders, particularly type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis, and on improving experimental therapies for prevention and intervention.

Dr. Nepom serves on numerous editorial boards and professional advisory boards related to molecular immunology, autoimmunity, and immunotherapy. He is a past president of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) and his awards include the University of Washington School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award and the David Rumbaugh award from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Dr. Nepom has published over 350 scientific papers in the areas of immunology, genetics, and autoimmunity.

Diane Mathis, PhD   Advisor

Dr. Mathis obtained a PhD from the University of Rochester, and performed postdoctoral studies at the Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire des Eucaryotes in Strasbourg, France and at Stanford University Medical Center. She returned to Strasbourg at the end of 1983, establishing a laboratory at the LGME [later the Institut de Genetique et de Biologie Moleculare et Cellulaire (IGBMC)] in conjunction with Dr. Christophe Benoist. The lab moved to the Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston in 1999. Through 2008, Dr. Mathis was a Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and Associate Research Director and Head of the Section on Immunology and Immunogenetics at Joslin. Dr. Mathis is currently a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology at HMS, and holder of the Morton Grove-Rasmussen Chair in Immunohematology. She is also a Principal Faculty Member at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and an Associate Faculty Member of the Broad Institute. She presently serves on Advisory Boards of the HHMI, Genentech, Pfizer, Amgen and F-Prime Capital Partners (amongst others) and of several research institutes worldwide. Dr. Mathis was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2003, the German Academy in 2007, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012. She received the FASEB Excellence in Science Award in 2016.
Her lab works in the fields of T cell differentiation, autoimmunity and inflammation. She has trained over 150 students and postdoctoral fellows.

Scott Snapper, MD, PhD   Advisor

Dr. Snapper is an internationally recognized physician-scientist with a passion both for patient care as well as research focusing on understanding the role of the immune system on inflammatory bowel diseases and intestinal manifestations of human immunodeficiencies. Dr. Snapper is the Wolpow Family Chair and Director of the Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Director of Basic and Translational Research at Boston Children’s Hospital. In addition, Dr. Snapper is the Director of IBD Research within the Gastroenterology Division at Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH) where he maintains a joint clinical appointment. Dr. Snapper is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS).

Dr. Snapper grew up in a small town, Catskill, New York and was inspired by his father’s experiences as a family doctor. After his undergraduate work at Tufts University where he graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology in 1983 he pursued his medical studies and doctoral research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he fell in love with microbiology and immunology and received his MD-PhD in 1990.

Dr. Snapper’s clinical practice has concentrated on patients with immunological disorders of the GI tract – focusing on both patients with inflammatory bowel diseases as well as patients with primary immune deficiencies suffering from gastrointestinal problems.

For the last decade, his laboratory has been investigating how the “adaptive” and “innate” arms of the immune system maintain health in the intestine. In particular his laboratory is trying to understand how a defective immune system can contribute simultaneously to both immunodeficiency and intestinal inflammation with some focus on human immunodeficiencies. His laboratory has made numerous key discoveries related to patients with the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome and, more recently, with those containing IL-10 receptor deficiency – both immune deficiencies that are associated with the combination of severe immune abnormalities and intestinal inflammation. Together with Drs. Christoph Klein (Munich) and Aleixo Muise (Toronto), Dr. Snapper is the Founder and Principal Investigator of the international Very Early Onset IBD Consortium ( whose mission is to identify the causes and develop therapies for infants and young children with IBD. Currently, Dr. Snapper’s laboratory is characterizing new genes that are associated with IBD and testing novel treatment strategies to manipulate immunoregulatory circuits in mice and man for IBD disease prevention and therapy.

Dr. Snapper has authored nearly 150 original articles and book chapters, and receives multiple grants from the NIH, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, the Helmsley Charitable Trust, and from major pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Snapper is on the editorial board of several journals, is a member of numerous scientific advisory boards of major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, serves as a permanent member of the Gastrointestinal Mucosal Pathobiology Study Section of the NIH, and is the chair of the National Scientific Advisory Committee of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.

Ananda Goldrath, PhD   Advisor

Ananda Goldrath is a Professor and Chair of the Molecular Biology Section in the Division of Biology at the University of California, San Diego where she joined the faculty in 2004, and is a Pew Scholar and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Fellow. She trained with Professor Michael Bevan in the Department of Immunology at the University of Washington for her graduate studies and Professors Diane Mathis and Christophe Benoit at the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School for her postdoctoral studies. Her work has contributed to the understanding of transcriptional regulation of T cell activation, differentiation and homeostasis. Dr. Goldrath’s current research focuses on investigating new ways to induce the immune system to provide protection from infections and eradicate malignancies.

Back to Top