David Artis and Wanjun Chen are jointly recognized for the 2022 ICIS-BioLegend William E. Paul Award for their combined contributions to unraveling the exciting and important biology of cytokines. David Artis’ work has pushed the boundaries of conventional approaches to immune defenses, and elucidated the important role of cytokines in host defenses at the barrier surfaces of the gut, skin, and lungs. Wanjun Chen’s work has significantly advanced our understanding of pathogenesis and has led to the development of immunotherapies for autoimmunity, cancer, and infectious diseases.

David Artis, PhD
Michael Kors Professor of Immunology
Director, Jill Roberts Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Director, Friedman Center for Nutrition and Inflammation
Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City, USA

Dr. Artis, an internationally renowned immunologist, has carved out his career as a prolific and innovative scientist working at the interface of immunology, microbiology, neuroscience and chronic inflammation. He has led a highly productive, innovative and impactful research unit, first at the University of Pennsylvania and more recently at Weill Cornell Medicine, that has made significant contributions to our understanding of cytokine regulation, immunopathogenesis, mucosal homeostasis and innate lymphoid cell biology. Dr. Artis’ lab was one of the founding discoverers of the novel immune system component called innate lymphoid cells and has been one of the leading contributors to the expanding field of neuro-immune interactions, spanning the critical interplay between immunological and neuronal circuitry, publishing many papers that have delineated the critical role that cytokines play in the interactions that occur between our immune system and microbiota at the body’s major barrier surfaces.

Dr. Artis’ creative work has pushed the boundaries of conventional approaches to understand the regulation of innate and adaptive immunity and elucidated the important role of cytokines in host defenses at the barrier surfaces of the gut, skin, and lungs. His contributions utilize the entire palette of biology to emphasize the central role of cytokines and interferons in establishing the communicative network by which complex vertebrates co-exist within a world of diverse perturbations of incredible complexity.

Dr. Artis’ research is unified by an unswerving dedication to studying true pathogens in relevant tissues, and to a deep understanding of the context within which perturbations and responses occur. His recognition is both national and international, and driven by his consistently high-impact publications, his capacity to lead a funded and productive laboratory, his participation in organization of highly visible conferences in his field, his contributions to the literature of concise and timely reviews, and appropriate awards for his research excellence. He has also established a strong track record in teaching and mentoring the next generation of investigators in the field. Of particular importance to the ICIS Awards Committee, Dr. Artis’ laboratory was among the first to focus on the mechanisms by which immune cells communicate with epithelia and nerves, revealing novel roles for cytokines and interleukins beyond their canonical ‘nom de plume’, as communicating ‘between white cells’, and exposing activities ranging from setting homeostatic boundaries in tissues to driving highly inflammatory diseases.

WanJun Chen, MD
Senior Investigator, Chief, Mucosal Immunology Section,
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD, USA

Dr. Wanjun Chen is a world-renowned immunologist who has made ground-breaking discoveries in the field of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β), T cell biology and
immune tolerance. He has a distinguished career who’s research has led to significant advances in the field of immunology. His innovative work has significantly advanced our understanding of pathogenesis and has led to the development of immunotherapies for autoimmunity, cancer, and infectious diseases and his succession of breakthrough innovations have revolutionized aspects of biological research, having an enormous impact on the field of biomedicine. Among Dr. Chen’s many contributions to the field of biomedical research, his discovery that TGF-β induces the Foxp3 gene in naive CD4+ T cells and converts them into regulatory T cells (iTregs or pTregs), has transformed the way the research community thinks of Tregs and has been widely recognized and universally accepted by immunologists. This finding has transformed the way people thought of Tregs and was considered as a “revolution” discovery in the field of immunobiology. The paper describing this finding has been cited for nearly 5,000 times (nearly one citation every day!), and is among the “Five Most Highly Cited Articles” in the Journal of Experimental Medicine since its inception in 1896 – over 125 years, and has now become textbook knowledge!

In addition to studying Tregs, Dr. Chen has made several seminal discoveries related to the function of mucosal immune cells and microbiota in the context of mucosal immune tolerance and inflammation which have had clinical implications for understanding human IBD and other inflammatory diseases in the gut and oral cavity. Recently, Dr. Chen discovered that T cell receptor-regulated TGF-β type I receptor expression determines T cell quiescence and activation which has significant implications to help advance our understanding of the immunologic mechanisms of autoimmune diseases, cancer and infectious diseases. As reflected by his continuous remarkable contributions to the field of TGF-β and immune regulation, he is widely recognized as the leader in TGF-β biology in the immune system.

To translate the knowledge acquired from the basic mechanism studies into immunotherapy, Wanjun has recently discovered a way to induce autoantigen-specific Tregs in vivo in animals with established autoimmune diseases. These in vivo induced autoantigen-specific Tregs suppress target autoantigen-specific inflammatory immune cells without compromising the immune responses to infectious pathogens and cancer. Indeed, by exploring basic and translational mechanisms of cytokine signaling and immune tolerance, his research findings hold great promises to develop new therapeutic strategies to target and treat various autoimmune diseases.



Drs. Artis and Chen will be presented their 2022 BioLegend William E. Paul Awards at Cytokines 2022 Hybrid Joint Meeting with ILC4, to be held 20-23 September, 2022 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii USA and will each give a talk during the meeting.

Sponsored by a generous grant from BioLegend


Wiliam E. Paul, MD, (1936–2015)

The ICIS-Biolegend William E. Paul Award for Excellence in Cytokine Research is dedicated to William E. Paul, M.D., who died on September 18, 2015 at age 79. Dr. Paul’s extraordinary contributions to the field of cytokine research are best summarized by this paper published in the Journal of Immunology on December 15, 2015.

This award was established in 2016 and is given to an investigator that has made significant contributions to cytokine and interferon research throughout their career through the generosity of BioLegend.

The award consists of $2,500 and a crystal block with the 3 D structure of IL-4, the cytokine most associated with Dr. Paul’s research, as well as up to $2,500 travel expense reimbursement to attend and present at the Annual Meeting sponsored by a grant from BioLegend.

The ICIS-BioLegend William E. Paul Award represents the pinnacle of scientific achievement in cytokine research. The William E. Paul Award is bestowed upon a leading biomedical research scientist who has made outstanding contributions to cytokine research, either in a basic or applied field as demonstrated by publications, oral presentations and consistent scientific advancements in cytokine biology throughout their career, through the generosity of BioLegend. The awardee is selected by the ICIS Awards Committee based on nominations received from the international scientific community. The selection is based on strength and consistency throughout their career of cytokine research publications in peer reviewed journals, contributions to cytokine biology through the publication of reviews and book chapters, long term evidence of presenting their work on cytokine biology to the international community in oral presentations and leadership in the field as demonstrated by organization of cytokine biology meetings and chairing of sessions focused on cytokine biology at national/international meetings.

Christopher Garcia
K. Christopher Garcia, 2021 BioLegend Award Winner
Sarah L. Gaffen, 2020 BioLegend Award Winner
Vijay K. Kuchroo, 2020 ICIS BioLegend William E. Paul Awardee
Chen Dong, 2019 ICIS BioLegend William E. Paul Awardee
Giorgio Trinchieri, 2018 ICIS BioLegend William E. Paul Awardee
Alan Sher, 2017 ICIS BioLegend William E. Paul Awardee
Richard Locksley, 2016 ICIS BioLegend William E. Paul Awardee

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