Avery August is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He received a B.S. in Medical Technology from California State University at Los Angeles where he was a RIMI Scholar, and a PhD in Immunology from Cornell University’s Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences, where he was partially supported by a NIGMS Minority Pre-Doctoral Fellowship.
At Cornell, he worked on intracellular signals that regulate T cell activation, with Dr. Bo Dupont. He then moved to the Rockefeller University, working with Prof. Hidesaburo Hanafusa, in the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology as a National Science Foundation Minority Post-Doctoral Fellow. During this time, he worked on characterizing the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA-1, as well as signals regulated by the Src Oncogene. After a brief stint in industry at the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical research Institute as a Scientist in Drug Discovery, he moved to The Pennsylvania State University as an Assistant Professor of Immunology where he rose through the ranks to attain tenure, and become Distinguished Professor of Immunology, and Director of the Center for Molecular Immunology and Infectious Disease, in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.
At Penn State, he also developed and served as Director of a NIH funded R25 Bridges to the Doctorate Program with the HBCU Alcorn State University and Penn State. This program trains and transitions underrepresented students in a Masters program at Alcorn State for preparation for entry into PhD programs. He also served as Chair of the Molecular Medicine Graduate Program. He teaches Immunology, and performs research that is at the intersection of signal transduction and development of disease, with emphasis on animal models of respiratory disease.
He has been involved in training the next generation of scientists from the high school level all the way to the postdoctoral. A total of nine students have received their PhDs (with an additional five who have received MS degrees) for work performed in his laboratory, and he has trained six postdoctoral fellows. He has served and chaired a wide range of NIH study section panels, including service for the NIH intramural program as Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute on Aging. He has served on the publications committee for the Journal of Immunology, and on the Committee for Public Affairs for the American Association of Immunologists. He also sits on the editorial board of a number of journals. He has been a Johnson & Johnson Focused Giving Program Awardee, a Leukemia Research Foundation Investigator, received a Scientist Development Award from the American Heart Association, and an Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America Investigator Award. He was also the recipient of the Community of Scholars Teaching Award while at Penn State. At Cornell, he is Co-PI of the Cornell Sloan Diversity Fellowship Program.