K. Frank Austen Lectureship

Frank Austen, M.D. received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School followed by medicine residency and chief residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and postdoctoral fellowships at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, National Institute for Medical Research (London UK), and Johns Hopkins Department of Microbiology.  He then joined the faculty of the Harvard Medical School (HMS) at the Massachusetts General Hospital, initially in Infectious Diseases and then as Chief of Pulmonary.  He subsequently moved to the Robert B. Brigham Hospital as Physician-in-Chief and Chairman of a new HMS Department of Medicine entirely focused on Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology.  He is currently the AstraZeneca Professor of Respiratory and Inflammatory Diseases at HMS in the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy of the Department of Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Dr. Austen is the recipient of numerous medical awards including election to the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences (USA), the Royal Society (UK), and the Association of American Physicians, which chose him as the recipient of the prestigious George M. Kober Medal.  Dr. Austen served as President of the American Association of Immunologist, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, and the American Association of Physicians.  He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Paris, Hofstra University, Akron University and Amherst College.  He has served as the mentor for many pre- and postdoctoral research-trainees, who themselves have gone on to distinguished careers in medicine and medical research

Dr. Austen has focused his basic science and clinical research skills on the immune basis of inflammatory diseases.  He is particularly well known for his seminal investigations of the role of mast cells and their production of proteases, the integrated function of the cysteinyl leukotrienes and their receptors in bronchial asthma and the importance of the amplification loop in mediating the functions of the complement system. 

On his 80th birthday in 2007, the K. Frank Austen Visiting Professorship was established to recognize Dr. Austen’s scholarly accomplishments, mentorship of many established leaders in his field, and initiation of the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy the forbearer of the BWH Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and the BWH Division of Rheumatology, Inflammation, and Immunity.