Susanna Cunningham-Rundles   Professor Emerita of Research Immunology in Pediatrics

Susanna Cunningham-Rundles, Ph.D. is Research Professor of Immunology in Pediatrics, Vice Chair for Academic Affairs and Director of the Weill-Cornell Cellular Immunology Laboratory.

Dr. Cunningham- Rundles received her PhD in Microbiology (Biochemical Genetics) from New York University in 1974 and a Founders Day Award for outstanding scholarship. She was a Predoctoral NIH Fellow in Genetics, Department of Microbiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY (1970-1973) and a Postdoctoral NIH Fellow in Genetics, Department of Microbiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY (1974) and then a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Immunobiology Program, at Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, New York, NY (1974-1976). Her subsequent research at Memorial Sloan Kettering included the development of new approaches for the study of human immune response as Head, Clinical Cellular Immunology Laboratory and then as Assistant Director of the Blood Bank. Her laboratory was the first to define the cellular immune deficiency caused by an emerging new virus, HIV-1. She was recruited to Cornell in Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology (1986) where she led studies on transfusion related HIV infection in hemophilia and congenital HIV and the role of micronutrients including iron and zinc as co-factors in immune response.

Dr. Cunningham-Rundles served as Associate Program Director, Children's Clinical Research Center, Cornell University Medical College, New York from 1998- 2004, Director, of Children's Blood Foundation Laboratories during the building and establishment of the labs from 2001-2004, and Director of the Immunology Core Laboratory for The Clinical Research Nutrition Unit, an NIH funded consortium from 1990 to 2007. She has been PI and Program Director of the NIH NCI Program for Nutrition and Cancer Prevention since 2009.

She has served on the Board of Scientific Advisors of Kendall McGaw, Cell Technology, and as Governor and then Vice President of the Board of Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences. Dr. Cunningham-Rundles served terms as Vice-Chair and then Chair of the Program Committee for the NY Academy of Sciences. Elections to national office have included as Chair of the Clinical and Diagnostic Immunology Division of the American Society for Microbiology, as Divisional Group II Representative and then as Councilor-at-Large also for the ASM. She has served on the Pediatric AIDS Foundation Review Board, the Scientific Advisory Committee and the Basic Science Research Committee of American Foundation for AIDS Research, International AIDS Meeting Scientific Advisory Committee, and the Medical Advisory Council, Hemophilia Association of New York among others.

Dr. Cunningham-Rundles is a frequent NIH reviewer, served as member and then Chair of an NIH AIDS Study Section, as Chair, Scientific Advisory Panel, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: Adolescent Medicine HIV/AIDS Research Network, completed a term as member the Innate Immunity and Host Defense Review Group, and currently is a member of the NIH Review Group, Mechanistic Research on CAM Natural Products, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Office of Dietary Supplements and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Dr. Cunningham-Rundles is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Academy of Nutrition. She received an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Weill –Cornell Medical College, is Vice Chair of the Advanced Biomedical Sciences Curriculum Committee and the Course Director of the Advanced Biomedical Science course. She was Course Director for the Department of Pediatrics Innovations Symposium in 2011"Origins of Disease in Childhood and Emerging Treatment Options ".

In addition to more than 150 publications, Dr. Cunningham¬-Rundles has been an editor for Biotechnology Therapeutics, Nutritional Immunology, Diagnostic and Clinical Immunology, and Clinical and Vaccine Immunology. She has edited two books: Nutrient Modulation of Immune Response and Persistent Bacterial Infections. Her current research is focused on regulation of innate immune response in the neonate and the role of the beta glucan dectin-1 pathway in hematopoiesis and immunity.

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  • scrundle@med.cornell.edu