Bench to Bedside: K. Frank Austen, MD, FAAAAI & Albert L. Sheffer, MD, FAAAAI Lectureship
The AAAAI Foundation is honored to announce the Bench to Bedside: K. Frank Austen, MD, FAAAAI & Albert L. Sheffer, MD, FAAAAI Lectureship, that pays tribute to two true giants in the field of Allergy/Immunology. For over 50 years, Drs. K. Frank Austen and Albert L. Sheffer worked in concert, making advances in the discipline and impacting generations of physicians and investigators who’ve gone on to become leaders in the specialty. Their career arcs were not only parallel, but complementary, with Austen as the consummate bench researcher and Sheffer the master clinician. Through the Allergy Clinic and the Allergy Training Program they founded in 1966, they’ve trained hundreds of physicians who are now in academic positions or in practice. Over 90 of their former fellows are full professors or an equivalent rank at the NIH or other research institutes.
Austen was instrumental in understanding the mechanisms that trigger, amplify, and control the inflammatory response. He was considered a pioneer in the biochemistry of the release of mast cell mediators and the biological properties of leukotrienes. As the AstraZeneca Professor of Respiratory and Inflammatory Diseases in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, his research into autoimmune diseases and asthma produced some of the pioneering work in the field. Dr. Austen also served as President of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in 1981. Dr. Austen passed away in June of 2023.
Sheffer conducted innovative clinical research to create or expand treatment options for conditions such as allergic rhinitis, bronchial asthma and hereditary angioedema. He provided care to thousands of patients with allergic and immunologic diseases, as well as training and mentorship to more than 100 fellows. He was President of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in 1987, was the first chair of the expert panel that generated the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Asthma, and cochairman of the first Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) Committee. Dr. Sheffer passed away in December of 2015.
Austen and Sheffer were close friends outside of the clinic as well as colleagues within. Their inextricable professional lives make this Lectureship and Award a fitting tribute in honor of a remarkable partnership that laid pivotal foundations for the specialty that will have impact for years to come. Please join us in celebrating this partnership of our beloved mentors and friends by making a gift to the Bench To Bedside Lectureship in honor of Drs. Austen and Sheffer.
If you wish to honor Drs. Austen and Sheffer, please consider a gift to the AAAAI Foundation and Bench to Bedside: K. Frank Austen, MD, FAAAAI & Albert L. Sheffer, MD, FAAAAI Lectureship Fund. A donation in any amount can be dedicated to this effort. Dr. Sheffer's Family and Dr. Austen will be notified of your gift in honor, and your name will be listed as a donor in the Annual Report of the AAAAI Foundation. Your donation makes a difference. We appreciate your support and your commitment to our specialty.
To make a contribution by phone call the AAAAI Foundation Office at 414-272-6071.