Richard A. Lerner, M.D.,
Chairman Scientific Advisory Board
Professor Richard Alan Lerner studied medicine at Northwestern University and Stanford University, earning his MD. He began his career in research in the Department of Experimental Pathology at The Scripps Research Institute (“TSRI”) in La Jolla/California, which he led from 1986 to 2012. During his time as President of TSRI, he directly oversaw the expansion and development of TSRI into the most successful and largest non-profit research institution in the U.S. Under his leadership, TSRI became the world’s leading academic science institute for research in the areas of immunology and chemical biology. Furthermore, TSRI’s graduate programs in chemistry and biology have consistently ranked in the Top 10 of US national doctoral programs. He is currently the Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Immunochemistry in the Department of Molecular Biology, President Emeritus of The Scripps Research Institute and a member of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology.
Richard Lerner was the architect of the most important advance since the discovery of monoclonal antibodies a quarter century ago: the conception, design and creation of combinatorial antibody libraries, currently the most widely used of all libraries in the field of biochemistry and which enabled a broadening of the scope of action of the immune system. His work set the stage in an article published in Science in 1989 and all the advances produced in the change in combinatorial libraries derived directly or indirectly from this article. Furthermore, in 1991, Professor Lerner identified the essence of the production of antibodies without immunization and his method has remained the most efficient way to produce fully human antibodies. Moreover, Richard Lerner has been a pioneer in the development of what are known as catalytic antibodies, a strategy to accelerate and catalyze chemical reactions for which traditional methods are not efficient.
Professor Lerner is the author of more than 400 scientific papers and holds honorary degrees from seven universities in Europe and America. He has also received numerous prestigious awards, including the Wolf Prize in Chemistry (Israel, 1995), the William B. Coley Award from the Cancer Research Institute (USA, 1999) and the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize (Germany, 2003), and the Prince of Asturias Award for Scientific and Technical Research (Spain, 2012). Richard Lerner is also a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.