"Stubborn as a bull"

Laurie Glimcher has made significant contributions to our understanding of the factors controlling immune response and their role in allergies, auto immune, infectious and malignant diseases. The American scientist is also described as a "dynamo of energy, ideas an can do spirit", which surely helped her a lot in her career as a woman scientist.

Professor Laurie Glimcher, Laureate of L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award, is being honored for her discovery of key factors involved in lymphocyte activation and differentiation balance. This discovery had an enormous impact on our understanding of mechanisms that govern the quality of an immune response and, more specifically, autoimmune diseases, conditions that arise when the body’s immune system “turns on itself” and attacks its own tissues. Her research is paving the way to new treatments for a wide array of disorders such as lupus, childhood diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis as well as new treatments for allergies. An international leader in her field, she is a recognized pioneer who has served as President of the American Association of Immunologists and she is one of the founding editors of the highly-respected scientific journal Immunity.

“A successful scientist must take risks. Breakthroughs only come with daring and innovation. Be fearless, self-confident and as stubborn as a bull!”

Leading the way for the next generation

After having taught at Harvard for over 30 years, Professor Glimcher was recently named Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College - the first woman dean of a medical school in New York. She is as dedicated to education and mentoring as she is to research. “I’ve been committed to mentorship my entire career. To me, the senior scientist has the responsibility of training the next generation.” Indeed, much of her work is motivated by what she sees as one of the Western world’s most urgent problems: training the doctors and scientists necessary to cope with a rapidly aging population.

Drive, Determination and Fearlessness

Professor Glimcher attributes a great deal of her success to the support and encouragement she received from her parents, especially her physician-scientist father, who took her along to his laboratory when she was a child. “I learned several important lessons from my father. A successful scientist must take risks. Breakthroughs only come with daring and innovation. Be fearless, self-confident and as stubborn as a bull!” Lessons she took to heart, as everyone who knows her invariably praises her as a dynamo of energy, ideas and can-do spirit, a woman “who has it all.” Her children are her biggest admirers, a great credit to an achiever who says that balancing motherhood with a research career is among the most difficult issues facing women scientists. Despite the many obstacles, she believes that women can successfully combine both. “When the going gets tough, women often find they have a unique talent for multitasking in the midst of chaos!”

Find out more about Laurie Glimcher : 

For Women in Science

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