Luke A. J. O’Neill, PhD, Trinity College Dublin, Professor and Chair of Biochemistry, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Dublin, Ireland

Professor O’Neill is honored with the 2022 ICIS Honorary Lifetime Membership Award in recognition of his exemplary service to the ICIS s a scientific participant, prize winner and organizer at many of our meetings, as well as his public service. Luke has also been a tremendous public advocate for immunology over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and most recently has been helping to raise support and get needed supplies to Ukraine.

Luke A.J. O’Neill FRS is Professor & Chair of Biochemistry in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Professor O’Neill was awarded the 2018 ICIS-Seymour & Vivian Milstein Award for Excellence in Interferon & Cytokine Research in recognition for his seminal contributions to our understanding of the molecular basis of inflammation and immunity. He is one of the key figures whose research and publications are responsible for the major increase in interest amongst immunologists in innate immunity over the past 25 years and is listed by Thompson Reuters/ Clarivates in the top 1% of immunologists in the world, based on citations per paper.

His interest in cytokines began in 1985 during his PhD at the Royal College of Surgeons in London on the recently cloned IL1. He worked on the mechanism whereby IL1 could increase production of prostaglandins, providing an early description of inducible cyclooxygenase. He continued investigating IL1 signaling as a postdoctoral scientist working with IL1 co-discoverer Jerry Saklatvala at the Strangeways Research Laboratory in Cambridge where he did work on IL1 signal transduction and NFkappaB. Establishing his own lab back in Dublin he continued to study NFkappaB, providing early descriptions of NFkappaB in brain and studying its redox regulation. His interest in IL1 signaling continued and he wrote a key review describing in detail the Toll-IL1 receptor- resistance (TIR) domain as a critical domain in innate immunity. This led to the discovery of viral proteins with TIR domains which he showed were inhibitors of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling, providing the first link between TLRs and viruses. This interest in the TIR domain led to the discovery of the protein Mal, a signaling adapter which he showed to be essential for signaling by the LPS receptor TLR4, which has more recently been shown to be critical for all TLRs (with the exception of TLR3) making it a central player in innate immunity and a key signal linking innate and adaptive immunity. O’Neill then carried out extensive characterization of signaling mechanisms for TLRs, uncovering negative regulatory mechanisms (including miRNAs) and  recent important work on metabolic changes in macrophages triggered by TLR4. His metabolic work also involved the NLRP3 inflammasome, which drives production of the key cytokines IL-1 and IL-18, investigating its role in Type 2 diabetes, uncovering control mechanisms and also reporting the first potent selective inhibitor of NLRP3 which has tremendous potential as a novel anti-inflammatory agent.

His work on metabolic changes induced by TLR4 has made a pioneering contribution to the currently burgeoning field of Immunometabolism, whereby immune cells undergo metabolic reprogramming to elicit specific effector functions. O’Neill identified the metabolite succinate as a key inflammatory signal, driving IL1beta production. More recently he has uncovered a critical anti-inflammatory role for the aconitate – derived metabolite itaconate.

All of these contributions have helped to place the field of innate immunity center stage in the effort to understand host defense mechanisms and inflammation and are fundamental findings in biology of the immune system and are also important for efforts to develop new treatments of infectious and inflammatory diseases. In short, O’Neill is a world authority on signaling in inflammation and innate immunity.

In 2013 he served as co-President of the newly inaugurated International Cytokine & Interferon Society with Chuck Samuel.

Professor O’Neill is founder director of three companies exploring innate immune targeting, Opsona, Inflazome and Sitryx. He is also a member of the External Immunology Network at GSK, where he has been a visiting scientist.

He was awarded the Royal Dublin Society / Irish Times Boyle Medal for scientific excellence, the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal for Life Sciences, The Society for Leukocyte Biology (SLB) Dolph O. Adams award and the European Federation of Immunology Societies Medal. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy, EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organisation) and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

The Awards Presentation will take place during Cytokines 2022 Hybrid: 10th Annual Meeting of the International Cytokine & Interferon Society, at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, in Waikoloa, Hawaii, and virtually, on Tuesday, September 20th beginning at 16:15. 

Luke O'Neill on a week-long trip to deliver vital supplies to the Ukraine-Poland border. “Our main mission is medical, so our van is full of bandages, dressings, spinal boards, drips - you know trauma stuff - and the reason is that the doctors in Ukraine had told the doctors in Ireland that that was the stuff they needed and we could fill that shopping list for them." Irish Mirror, April 4, 2022

Luke brought his whole band, the Metabollix, to Boston for the Cytokines 2018 main networking event.

Carl F. Ware, PhD,  Director, Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases Center, Professor, Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, La Jolla, USA

Dr. Carl Ware is honored with the ICIS Honorary Lifetime Membership award as a tribute to his seminal and original contributions to our understanding of the role of cytokines in immunobiology and active engagement in cytokine research.

Dr. Ware’s career studying cytokines began in the early 1970’s at a time when the techniques we now take for granted were just being developed, and before the advent of molecular biology through his recent research directed at identifying translational opportunities in infectious, inflammatory diseases, and cancer. He identified the LIGHT-HEVEM pathway as the mechanism underlying an effective vaccine for Herpes Simplex Virus-1/2. Recently he showed that LIGHT levels are increased in COVID-19 patients progressing to pneumonia (Perlin, Safir-Levi et al, 2020) which launched a Phase 2 trial using the neutralized mAb to human LIGHT that he developed. Two other biologics created by the Ware group are for checkpoint inhibitor resistant cancers and follicular lymphoma.

Dr. Ware continues to apply his fundamental understanding of cytokine networks as a source of therapeutics for diseases without effective treatment. This was a time of ferment in the cytokine field as new supernatant biologic activities were being described at a rapid pace. This was a difficult time for many in the field, but Dr. Ware persisted, to the great benefit of the TNF field in particular, and the cytokine field in general. In later studies during a sabbatical at Biogen with Jeff Browning, he described LTβ. This molecule, when complexed with the original LTα, is a crucial contributor to the development of the lymphoid system. He went on to characterize additional members of the family including LIGHT and HVEM and solved problems that might have daunted others less tenacious with regard to the multiple interactions of the ligand receptor pairs in the expanded LT/TNF/LIGHT family. Dr. Ware has made fundamental discoveries concerning the role of the herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM), a member of the TNF receptor family. This has led to his elucidation of immune evasion mechanisms used by the various herpes viruses and provided important insight into the co-evolution of cytokine receptors and viruses. He is the holder of 6 patents and his discoveries have led to the development of novel therapeutics, namely, Baminercept, an LTbR-Fc fusion protein, and an anti-Light antibody. 

Dr. Ware continues to be extremely active- as witnessed by the success of his recent grant applications, including a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study how SARS-CoV-19 weakens the immune system–and identify drugs to help infected individuals recover, as well as his steady publication record, including a paper on ILC3 regulation of cDCs to be published this month. His expertise is sought by many institutions, including the Manchot Graduate School at the University of Dusselforf where he serves on the Scientific Advisory Board.

Carl Ware has been an outstanding member of the scientific community in general and the cytokine field in particular. He has been unfailingly generous in sharing reagents and knowledge. Among his several positions, he served with distinction as President of the International Cytokine Society, has served on the scientific advisory board of the International Congress on TNF-related cytokines for many years, and chaired the International Cytokine Society Annual Meeting in 2001 in Maui soon after 9/11 in which Dr. Ware’s calm fortitude and concern were remarkable and contributed to the success of the meeting. He has also served on numerous boards and study sections including the editorial board of the Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research from 1996 to the present. In addition to his many scientific accomplishments and service to the cytokine field, Dr. Ware has an outstanding record of mentorship with numerous successful trainees who have continued to shape the cytokine field all over the world.

Each year an ICIS member may be awarded Honorary Life Membership as a tribute to his/her contributions to the field. Nominees should be individuals who have made substantive contributions to the cytokine/chemokine/ interferon field over much of their careers, either in basic, clinical or applied research. Honorary members are esteemed members of the Society and provide us with a historical perspective and valued research tradition.

Award: ICIS Crystal. The Honorary Life Member is exempted from Society dues for his/her lifetime and is accorded all rights and privileges of an active member. Travel costs (flights and hotel) are reimbursed up to $1500 to attend the annual Meeting. Meeting registration is waived for the year of the award. Awardee to have the option to give a brief (~5min) acceptance speech at the Awards Ceremony.

Nomination process:

  • Letters of nomination are sent to the ICIS President via the ICIS website online nomination form. The nomination package includes a full CV of the nominee. The letter of nomination should detail the accomplishments of the nominee and reasons for the nomination. It should be noted that the awardees will be judged based on the following criteria which should be included in the nomination letter:
      • outstanding publications in the field and ground-breaking discoveries in the field
      • collective contributions to the cytokine/chemokine/ interferon field over much of their careers, either in basic, clinical or applied research.
  • A candidate may be nominated by more than one ICIS member.

Honorary Lifetime Membership has been awarded to the following individuals who have made substantive contributions to the cytokine/chemokine/interferon field over much of their careers, either in basic, clinical or applied research. Honorary members are esteemed members of the Society and provide us with an historical perspective and valued research tradition.

ICIS 2020 Honorary Lifetime Membership Award bestowed on Anne O’Garra

Anne O’Garra receiving the 2020 ICIS Honorary Lifetime Membership Award crystal at Cytokines 2020 Virtual Meeting.

Anne O’Garra is honored with the ICIS 2020 Honorary Lifetime Membership Awards as a tribute to her seminal and original contributions to our understanding of the role of cytokines in immunobiology and active engagement in cytokine research.

Anne O’Garra obtained her PhD in microbiology and undertook a Postdoctoral Fellowship in immunology at the Medical Research Council National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR; now part of the Francis Crick Institute) in London. At the DNAX Research Institute, California, USA (1987-2001), as an independent group leader, she defined functions and mechanisms for cytokines in the immune response, for which she was named 2nd of Highly Cited Authors in Immunology, 1992-2002 (ISI Science Indicators).

Anne O’Garra, FRS, FMedSci Senior Group Leader, Laboratory of Immunoregulation & Infection The Francis Crick Institute, London, England

Anne returned to the UK in 2001 to form the Division of Immunoregulation at NIMR, to interface research in immunology and infectious diseases. Anne continues research on the role and function of cytokines in the immune response and how key cytokines are regulated at the transcriptional level. Her group now also study the immune response in tuberculosis in mouse models and human disease. Anne stepped down from her position as Associate Research Director at the Francis Crick Institute in June 2019, remaining as Senior Group Leader to focus on her lab’s research on cytokines and the immune response in tuberculosis.

In addition to being a Fellow of the Royal Society, Anne was also elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and as a Member of EMBO, the European Molecular Biology Organization and is member of a number of Scientific Advisory Boards, including the Keystone Conferences and an Editor of the Journal of Experimental Medicine. As an advocate of Women-In-Science O’Garra chaired the Athena Swan Institute Pilot Bronze award for the NIMR.

She was co-chair of Cytokines 2018, 6th Annual Meeting of the International Cytokine & Interferon Society in Boston, Scientific Advisory Board and invited lecturer at Cytokines 2019 and is an ICIS Council Member.

*Anne O’Garra is also Professor of Infection Immunology, NHLI, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London

Kouji Matsushima awarded the 2019 Honorary Lifetime Membership Award at Cytokines 2019 in Vienna
William Fleischmann awarded the 2018 Honorary Lifetime Membership Award at Cytokines 2018 in Boston
Ganes Sen awarded the 2017 Honorary Lifetime Membership Award at Cytokines 2017 in Kanazawa
Howard Young awarded the 2016 Honorary Lifetime Membership Award at Cytokines 2016 in San Francisco

Samuel Baron, Galveston, US (deceased)

Gerhard Bodo, Vienna, AT (deceased)

Derek Burke, Norwich-Norfolk, GB (deceased)

Kari Cantell, Helsinki, FI

Anthony Cerami, Tarrytown, US

Charles Chany, Paris, FR (deceased)

Alain de Weck, Bern, Switzerland (deceased)

Ferdinando Dianzani, Rome, IT (deceased)

Charles Dinarello, Aurora, US

Lois Epstein, Tiburon, US

Karl Fantes, Surrey  England, GB

Marc Feldmann, London, GB

Walter Fiers, Ghent, BE (deceased)

Norman Finter, Ludlow-Shropshire, GB (deceased)

Eleanor Fish, Toronto, CA

William Robert Fleischmann, Austin, US

Robert Friedman, Bethesda, US

George Galasso, Silver Spring, US

Laurie Glimcher, Boston, US

David Goeddel, San Francisco, US

Ion Gresser, Paris, FR (deceased)

Sidney Grossberg, Milwaukee, US

Otto Haller, Freiburg, DE

Gertrude Henle, Newton Square, US (deceased)

Ara Hovanessian, Paris, FR

Wolfgang Joklik, Durham, US (deceased)

Yoshimi Kawade, Sakyo-ku Kyoto, JP

Ian Kerr, London, GB

Tadamitsu Kishimoto, Osaka, JP

Ernest Knight, Jr., Kittery, US (deceased)

Peter Lengyel, New Haven, US

Warren Leonard, Bethesda, US

Jean Lindenmann, Zurich, CH (deceased)

Philip Marcus, Storrs, US (deceased)

Kouji Matsushima, Tokyo, JP

Thomas Merigan, Portola Valley, US

Donald Metcalf, Parkville, AU (deceased)

Yasuiti Nagano, Okayama 700, JP (deceased)

Anne O’Garra, London, UK

Luke O’Neill, Dublin, IE

Joost Oppenheim, Frederick, US

Keiko Ozato, Bethesda, US

William E. Paul, Bethesda, US (deceased)

Sidney Pestka, Piscataway, US (deceased)

Paula Pitha-Rowe, Baltimore, US (deceased)

Amanda Proudfoot, Geneva, CH (deceased)

Michel Revel, Rehovot, IL

Nancy Ruddle, New Haven, US

Leo Sachs, Rehovot, IL (deceased)

Charles Samuel, Santa Barbara, US

Ganes Sen, Cleveland, US

George Stark, Cleveland, US

Tadatsugu Taniguchi, Tokyo, JP

Michael Tovey, Villejuif, FR

Giorgio Trinchieri, Frederick, US

David Tyrrell, Whiteparish, GB (deceased)

Jan Vilcek, New York, US

Byron Waksman, Lexington, US (deceased)

Thomas Waldmann, Bethesda, US

Carl F. Ware, La Jolla, US

Charles Weissmann, Jupiter, US

Frederick Wheelock, Philadelphia, US

Howard Young, Frederick, US

Julius Youngner, Pittsburgh, US (deceased)

Kathryn Zoon, Bethesda, US