2018 Keynote Speaker
Alan Aderem, PhD
President Emeritus and Professor,
Center for Infectious Disease Research
Alan Aderem has made seminal contributions to the fields of innate immunity and infectious diseases through his focus on pathogen recognition, cell signaling, effector responses and host defense. He has been a pioneer in the field of systems biology and he has used the approach to identify and characterize novel signaling, gene regulatory, and epigenetic mechanisms that mediate the complex crosstalk that occurs between immune receptors, cytokines, and pathogens. Aderem has explored the significance of innate immune genes in human diseases and identified polymorphisms associated with susceptibility or resistance to a variety of infectious diseases. Most recently, Aderem has used systems approaches to dissect host responses to vaccines and implement these findings in the rationale design of new vaccines.
Alan Aderem obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Cape Town and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The Rockefeller University. He rose through the ranks at Rockefeller University, becoming head of the Laboratory of Signal Transduction in 1991. In 1996, he accepted a Professorship of Immunology and Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle.
In 2001, Aderem co-founded the Institute for Systems Biology with Leroy Hood and Ruedi Aebersold, and served as its Director until 2011. In 2012, he became President of the Center for Infectious Disease Research, a non-profit Institute that uses systems approaches to understand the pathogenesis of diseases that ravage resource poor countries including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The Center is also focused on translation, and academic knowledge is used to develop diagnostics, drugs and vaccines against these diseases. Dr. Aderem stepped down from the CIDR Presidency in 2017 in order to focus his attention on a number of Global Health Programs in Africa.