Dr. Ruslan Medzhitov is a Sterling Professor of immunology at Yale School of Medicine and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. His laboratory studies the signals that initiate and control the process of inflammation, allergic reaction, and immune response. His laboratory also studies tissue biology, and the communication circuits that help to establish stable cellular communities within tissues.
Medzhitov earned his bachelor’s in Biology from Tashkent State University, and pursued a doctorate degree in biochemistry at the Moscow State University (1993). Medzhitov was a graduate student during the profound economic crisis that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, which prevented him from performing any experimental work during his graduate studies. Being unable to do any experimental work didn’t stop Medzhitov, who continued his studies by reading the scientific literature at the Library for Natural Sciences in Moscow, and attending lectures. There, he encountered his passion towards studying immunology after reading a paper by Dr. Charles Janeway, where he described his theories on how the immune system works. Medzhitov, fascinated by these theories, contacted Janeway and started a collaboration that shaped the rest of his career. In 1993, Medzhitov received a 3-month Unesco fellowship to study bioinformatics with Russell Doolittle at the University of California, San Diego. In 1994, he continued his postdoctoral training at Janeway’s lab.
For his scientific contributions, Medzhitov was elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (2010), and received the Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine (2011). Learn more about Medzhitov’s research at his lab website.