Gailen D. Marshall, MD PhD, the R. Faser Triplett Sr Chair of Allergy and Immunology at UMMC, presented the 2018 Bela Schick Lecture at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in Seattle, WA. This is considered the premier lectureship of the College’s annual meeting. The annual Bela Schick Lecture is named in honor of one of medicine’s most respected scientists. Bela Schick was born in Hungary and attended medical school in Austria. After serving as Extraordinary Professor of Children’s Diseases at the University of Vienna, he immigrated to the United States in 1923. He was a pediatrician at Mt. Sinai in New York for many years, loved by his patients, and respected by his fellows. Dr. Schick is best known for his work with Dr. Clemens von Pirquet, (the lead physician who originally described the clinical syndrome of anaphylaxis and for the test he developed (called the Schick test) to assess immunity to diphtheria.
Dr. Marshall, Professor and Division Director of Allergy and Immunology, presented the plenary lecture describing the critical needs for a strong partnership between academic and community allergists-immunologists. Allergy-immunology is a small specialty (less than 10,000 board certified specialists in the US) that care for a patient population of close to 100 million US citizens (1 in 3 Americans deal with some form of allergic disease). With the increasingly complex technologies available to address the underlying immunopathophysiologies associated with these allergic diseases, such an academic-community partnership is essential for development and dissemination into real world settings of these potentially life altering therapies. “It was a distinct honor to be selected to present this lecture” commented Dr. Marshall. “I am pleased to report a robust and productive relationship between our academic group and our community allergy-immunology partners in Jackson and throughout the state of Mississippi. These foundational relationships will undoubtedly translate to improved opportunity for healthcare delivery for the citizens of our state.”