January 8, 2024 — Today, the governing council of the International Cytokine & Interferon Society (ICIS) announced the Society’s ICIS-Distinguished Service Award would henceforth be known as the ICIS-Howard A. Young Distinguished Service Award in recognition of the extraordinary contributions Dr. Young has given to the ICIS and its predecessor society, the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research (ISICR).
“It’s hard to imagine anyone ever doing more for our society than Howard Young,” said current ICIS President, Sarah Gaffen. “Starting with his leadership of the ISICR, the countless committees on which he served, his stewardship of Signals+, he is the epitome of service and the spirit that permeates everything we do.”
Impact on ICIS
Howard Young started the Signals Newsletter and has been its Editor in Chief since the first issue was published in 1994.
“His witty and insightful articles will be hard to live up to,” said Gaffen. He was President of the ISICR in 2004-2005 and member of the Board of Directors 2005-06 and again in 2012–2017. Along with Sidney Pestka (1936-2016), Dr.
Young shares the honor of winning the inaugural Distinguished Service Award in 2010. In 2021 he was the inaugural winner of the Mentorship Award in recognition of significant and sustained contributions to the career development of trainees and to the profession over four decades. Young was given an Honorary Lifetime Membership Award in 2016 at the society’s annual conference in San Francisco.
“I am deeply honored and humbled by having the Distinguished Service Award named after me,” said Young. “The Society has been very important in my career, and I always felt that my service to the Society was one way that I could pay it back.”
Career and Other Honors
Dr. Howard Young obtained his Ph.D. in microbiology at the University of Washington and carried out postdoctoral research at the NCI under Drs. Edward Scolnick and Wade Parks. He was a member of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunoregulation at NCI from 1983 to 1989 prior to joining the Laboratory of Experimental Immunology in 1989. Outside of ICIS/ISICR he served as Chair of the Immunology Division of the American Society for Microbiology. He has also served as Chair of the NIH Cytokine Interest Group and Co-Chair and then Chair of the NIH Immunology Interest Group. He is a three-time recipient
of the NIH Director’s Award for Mentoring (2000, 2006, 2018) and in 2006 he received the National Public Service Award. He has also received the 2019 NCI Women’s Scientist Mentoring Award. He has been elected to the American Academy
of Microbiology and was elected as an AAAS Fellow in 2023. He remains a member of the International Cytokine and Interferon Society, the American Society for Microbiology, the American Association of Immunology, and the AAAS.
The International Cytokine & Interferon Society (ICIS), a non-profit professional society, was formed in 2012 when the International Cytokine Society (ICS) merged with the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research (ISICR). Now numbering over 1200 members, ICIS is the premier organization promoting the field of cytokine & interferon biology research, impacting all aspects of medicine and leading to new treatments in autoimmune diseases, cancer, infectious diseases and inflammation.
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