Jean-Laurent Casanova

Jean-Laurent Casanova was born in 1963 in Paris, where he received his M.D. in 1987 and his Ph.D. in 1992, after training at the Pasteur Institute in Paris (with Philippe Kourilsky) and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Lausanne (with Janet Maryanski and Rob MacDonald). Following a pediatric residency in Paris and a pediatric immunology-hematology fellowship at the Necker Hospital for Sick Children (with Claude Griscelli and Alain Fischer), he was appointed professor at Necker in 1999. There, with Laurent Abel, he cofounded the Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases. He led the experimental (wet) lab, whereas Dr. Abel led the computational (dry) lab. Dr. Casanova was named an international HHMI research scholar from 2005 to 2008, while at Necker. He was appointed professor at the Rockefeller University in 2008 and named HHMI investigator in 2014. He and Dr. Abel maintained their lab in Paris, while running their new lab in NY. Most of the dry lab stayed in Paris with Dr. Abel, while most of the wet lab moved to NY with Dr. Casanova.  
Over the last 25 years, Dr. Casanova discovered and characterized the first monogenic etiologies for a variety of severe viral, bacterial, and fungal infections that predispose otherwise healthy infants, children, adolescents, and even adults to a single type of infectious disease. These discoveries, at the crossroads of microbiology, immunology, genetics, and medicine have provided compelling evidence that life-threatening infectious diseases can be caused by monogenic inborn errors of immunity. These studies have had important clinical implications, as they provided a basis for genetic counseling and led to new therapeutic approaches based on an understanding of the host component of infectious diseases. Moreover, they revealed disease mechanisms that apply to the pathogenesis of the same infections in other settings, including AIDS and immunosuppression. These studies also have had major biological implications, as they revealed the largely redundant function of host defense genes in natura, in the setting of a natural ecosystem governed by natural selection.  
Dr. Casanova was recipient of multiple international awards, including the Dautrebande Prize (Belgium, 2004), Richard Lounsbery Award (USA/France, 2008), E. Mead Johnson Award (USA, 2010), InBev Baillet-Latour Health Prize (Belgium, 2011), Ilse and Helmut Wachter Foundation Award (Austria, 2012), Milstein Award (USA, 2012), Robert Koch Award (Germany, 2014), Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Award (France, 2014), Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award (USA, 2016), and Inserm Grand Prix (France, 2016). He was elected to the EMBO (2005), USA National Academy of Sciences (2015), and USA National Academy of Medicine (2015). He serves as President of the Henry Kunkel Society. He is co-editor-in-chief of The Journal of Clinical Immunology. He is also an editor of The Journal of Experimental Medicine, Current Opinion in Immunology, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.