Wednesday, 18 June 2014 07:43

In Memorium: Jerrold Schwaber, Made Breakthrough on Monoclonal Antibodies

Written by 
Rate this item
(2 votes)

Jerrold SchwaberJerrold Schwaber, an immunologist and cell biologist who pioneered the concept and technique for monoclonal antibodies (hybridomas) died at home in Haddonfield, New Jersey, on June 6. He was 67. Schwaber was a longtime member of the ASCB, joining in 1980 and moving to emeritus status in 2002.

As a graduate student at the University of Chicago, Schwaber fused human lymphocytes to mouse myeloma tumor cells, demonstrating that the resulting hybrid cells made both human and mouse immunoglobulins. This work, published in Nature in 1973, laid the groundwork for further development of monoclonal antibodies.

Schwaber continued his research into genetic causes of immunodeficiency for which he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jeffrey Modell Foundation in 1992. Cell lines that he developed from patients with primary immunodeficiency were donated to the Coriell Institute for Medical Research in Camden, New Jersey. He worked at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and Hahnemann University Hospital and Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, he is survived by his wife, Susan Hoch MD, his sons, Jason and Jeff, and four grandchildren. He loved to cook, work with wood, rebuild houses, scuba dive, bike, listen to classical music, opera, and jazz, and read.

According to family, Schwaber was proud of his long association with ASCB and specifically asked that donations in his memory be made to the Society.

John Fleischman

John is ASCB Senior Science Writer and the author among other things of two nonfiction books for older children, "Phineas Gage: A Gruesome But True Story About Brain Science" and "Black & White Airmen," both from Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt, Boston.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.