Title of talk: Wendy Havran, my colleague and friend
For almost 30 years Linda and Wendy were colleagues at the Scripps Research Institute. Besides the numerous significant contributions they both made in Immunology, they also shared endless efforts and services to help with the career development of the younger generation of immunologists and to promote recognition and equality for women in Science.
Dr. Sherman’s research has focused on designing strategies to augment the ability of T lymphocytes to respond to certain self-antigens in order to eliminate tumor cells. One of the main goals of her research is to understand how expression of proteins in normal tissues alters immune recognition and responsiveness to antigens of these proteins when they are subsequently encountered on normal tissue or tumor cells. Parallel studies in her research investigate defects in immune (self) tolerance that result in autoimmune destruction of pancreatic islets leading to type 1 diabetes.
Dr. Sherman was the ninety-eighth president of The American Association of Immunologists (AAI) from 2014 to 2015 and served as an AAI Council member from 2009 to 2016. She was elected a Distinguished Fellow of AAI in 2019.
“I had been at Scripps for over a decade when Wendy first arrived. I soon came to discover that one of her priorities was to create a community among the women in our department, something I had never thought to do. Each time a woman was hired or promoted, or achieved a milestone in her career, Wendy would organize a lady’s luncheon. They were intentionally elegant affairs in high visibility restaurants that were meant to make the guest of honor feel special, something very rare in the life of a woman scientist. When I became the first woman at Scripps to be promoted to Full Professor, it was at such a celebration that Wendy presented me with a treasured memento of the occasion, a plaque consisting of crackled glass under which was printed “THANK YOU FOR BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING”. If there was one thing Wendy understood it was the importance of celebrating the high points in a career that constantly humbles you. I am thankful to have a strong association between the highlights of the past 30 years of my life with my dear friend Wendy.”