AAAAI Foundation and Michael M. Frank, MD, FAAAAI Lectureship
Throughout his long career, Dr. Frank has made an important mark on the Allergy/Immunology specialty, especially in the area of hereditary angioedema and as a beloved mentor to many in our field.
Dr. Frank is the Samuel L. Katz Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine at Duke University and an internationally respected physician-scientist. The research of Dr. Frank's laboratory revolves around effector mechanisms of immune damage. Specifically, the laboratory is interested in understanding how antibody and complement contribute to the damage of tissues and micro-organisms. Overlapping areas of interest include the role of mediators in inflammation and the functions of antibody and complement in the production of autoimmune disease.
Dr. Frank was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Discovering a very early scientific interest, he knew he wanted to be a medical researcher before the age of ten. Dr. Frank credits reading Microbe Hunters by Paul de Kraif as a young boy as having inspired an early fascination with the immune system.
Entering the University of Wisconsin at age 15, Dr. Frank developed an interest in infectious diseases through microbial biologist, and subsequent Nobel Prize winner, Joshua Lederberg. He then went on to attend Harvard Medical School and was a House Officer in Medicine at Harvard and in Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Medical School. After completing his training, he joined the NIH in 1966 as clinical director of allergy and infectious disease. His program led the team that found the first effective treatment for hereditary angioedema. Dr. Frank rose to become section chief at NIAID and served as Clinical Director for his last 13 years at the Institute.
After 24 years at the NIH, Dr. Frank was hand-selected by Dr. Samuel Katz to be his successor as Chair of Pediatrics at Duke. While at Duke, Dr. Frank recognized the need for the pediatrics department to have their own building. He helped spearhead the effort towards the creation of a pediatrics hospital and was instrumental in raising funds and even picking architects for its design. Duke Children’s Hospital opened in May of 2000 and has gone on to become one of the foremost children’s hospitals in the world. Dr. Frank passed away in August of 2019.
2020 marks the 2nd year of the AAAAI Foundation and Michael M. Frank MD, FAAAAI Lectureship.
Nora Barrett, MD FAAAAI
Associate Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital
Dr. Barrett completed her medical degree at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and then did her residency in Internal Medicine, and fellowships in Pulmonary Medicine and Allergy and Immunology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship with K. Frank Austen, she joined the faculty in what is now the Allergy and Clinical Immunology Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital led by Dr. Joshua Boyce. She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a member of the Harvard Program in Immunology.
Dr. Barrett has a long-standing interest in asthma pathobiology and the innate immune pathways that initiate and reinforce type 2 immunity in the respiratory tract. This includes the study of cysteinyl leukotrienes, the IgE-independent pathways through which these proinflammatory molecules are generated in the respiratory mucosa, and their influence on the development of type 2 inflammation. Through preclinical and translational research efforts, she and her team have discovered a remarkable degree of airway epithelial remodeling that occurs in type 2 inflammation, endowing the respiratory mucosa with enhanced proinflammatory function, the subject of the lecture today. She has been the recipient of numerous grant awards from the AAAAI, the American Lung Association, the Department of Defense, NHLBI, and NIAID for this research.
Dr. Barrett is an active physician, dedicated to the management of patients with Severe Asthma and coordinates educational programs and patient care initiatives at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Severe Asthma Program. She also leads efforts to promote the training and education of clinical fellows interested in pursuing a physician-scientist track. She lectures on the path of a physician-scientist to residents and fellows, organizes workshops on research techniques and professional skills, and participates in scholarly oversight committees and grant review committees both locally and nationally.