When Avery August was a teenager, he moved with his family from Belize to Los Angeles. Unhappy with high school in Los Angeles, August quit and instead completed his GED. He spent two years at community college before transferring to California State University in Los Angeles. Supportive mentors at CSU gave August a chance to do research, an experience that prompted his decision to attend graduate school. August received his PhD in immunology from Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York City, and he was a post-doctoral fellow with Hidesaburo Hanafusa at Rockefeller University.
August spent two years working at the pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson before returning to academia at Pennsylvania State University from 1999-2010. In 2010, August moved to Cornell University, in Ithaca NY, to become Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the College of Veterinary Medicine. His lab investigates the role of tyrosine kinases, specifically the Tec kinases, in regulating the immune system.
As well as directing outstanding research, August is actively involved in mentoring and encouraging underrepresented minority students and trainees to pursue careers in science. August received the E.E. Just Award from the American Society of Cell Biology in 2014.