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Notable alum to lecture at NIU on ‘chemokines’

October 3, 2013
Thomas J. Schall

Thomas J. Schall

Thomas J. Schall, a 2013 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, will give a talk Friday, Oct. 11, on “Chemokines and Chemoattractant Receptors: From Flesh-Eating Bacteria to AIDS to Autoimmune Disease.”

The lecture will begin at noon in Room 201 of LaTourette Hall. The public is invited to attend.

Founder and CEO of ChemoCentryx, Schall is credited with discovering one of the very first chemokines – proteins that control the way immune cells enter organs and tissues – while he was still a graduate student at Stanford. Operating like a “traffic control system,” chemokines play a key role in many inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, atherosclerosis and even HIV and cancer.

Since that first chemokine discovery, Schall has been involved in the discovery or co-discovery of almost one-third of all known chemokine receptors. His company is on track to have seven different drugs in clinical trials by the end of 2013 – an unusually high rate of research productivity for a small company.

Schall received his bachelor’s degree in biology from NIU and holds a Ph.D. in molecular immunology from Stanford. He conducted research with Genentech and the DNAX Research Institute before founding his own company in 1997.

In recognition of his contributions to the field, he was elected by his peers to chair the prestigious Gordon Conference on Chemotactic Cytokines in 1998.

For more information, call (815) 753-6908 or email [email protected].