Dr. David Hafler appointed the inaugural Edgerly Professor of Neurology

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Dr. David Hafler

Dr. David A. Hafler, newly appointed as the inaugural William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly Professor of Neurology, is a clinical scientist whose research focuses on understanding the mechanism of autoimmunity with a particular interest in inflammatory central nervous system diseases.

Hafler’s laboratory has been a major force in defining human autoimmune disease for over a quarter of a century. After demonstrating the presence of an activated peripheral immune system in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), he was among the first to apply human T cell cloning to human disease, defining the dominant epitopes of myelin antigens in MS and of islet antigens in diabetes. His lab has examined the mechanism for the loss of suppression, and was among the first to describe regulatory T cells in humans and molecular mechanism elucidating defects in regulating tolerance in autoimmune disease. Hafler led the first whole genome scan identifying gene variants associated with MS.

After receiving combined B.S. and M.Sc. degrees in biochemistry from Emory University, Hafler earned his M.D. from the University of Miami School of Medicine. Before joining the Yale faculty in 2009 as the inaugural Gilbert H. Glaser Professor of Neurology, he was the David Breakstone Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School. Hafler is the chief and chair of neurology at Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Yale School of Medicine. He is also a visiting scientist at the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

Hafler is the co-author of several books, monographs, and textbooks. He has contributed over 300 articles in the field of autoimmunity and immunology to edited volumes and journals. He serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Clinical Investigation and the Journal of Experimental Medicine, among other publications.

The Yale professor has been elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Neurological Association, and the Alpha Omega Society. His honors include a Harry Weaver Scholarship from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the John Dystel Prize for Multiple Sclerosis Research from the American Academy of Neurology.

The William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly Professorship was established by William S. Edgerly and his wife, Lois Stiles Edgerly, who are committed to the support of research in the field of multiple sclerosis in the Department of Neurology.