Medical Faculty MannheimHonorary Doctorate for Immunologist Adrian Hayday

Press Release No. 66/2022
11 July 2022

Medical Faculty Mannheim honours outstanding researcher and promoter of early-career researchers

The Medical Faculty Mannheim of Heidelberg University is to award an honorary doctorate to Prof. Dr Adrian Hayday for his outstanding research in the field of immunology, which has led to a number of groundbreaking discoveries in the diagnosis and treatment of immune-related diseases. In doing so, it pays tribute to Prof. Hayday’s commitment to training young researchers. The internationally recognised immunologist, who is closely linked to the Mannheim Faculty, is based at the School of Immunology & Microbial Sciences at King's College London (Great Britain) and is deputy director of the Francis Crick Institute. Prof. Dr Bernhard Eitel, Rector of Ruperto Carola, will confer the honorary doctorate at a ceremony on 16 July 2022.

Hayday Porträt hochkant

In his fundamental immunological research, Prof. Hayday investigates T cell receptors and, in particular, the organ-specific differentiation and function of gamma delta T cells, which are among the most important actors of local immunosurveillance. “His outstanding studies, in which he characterises the regulation of gamma delta T cells through tissue-specific molecules, have contributed substantially to understanding how local immune resistance mechanisms are orchestrated,” underlines Prof. Dr Sergij Goerdt, Dean of the Medical Faculty Mannheim. Prof. Haday’s research findings are also having a sustained impact on clinical immunology, says Prof. Goerdt, e.g. in respect to the potential of gamma delta T cells in fighting cancer and infectious diseases.

The Dean likewise honoured Adrian Hayday’s many years of great personal effort invested in the Medical Faculty Mannheim, in particular within the research training group “Hallmarks of Skin Cancer”, which is funded by the German Research Council. As coordinator of the London partner he is, to quote Prof. Goerdt, a mainstay of the training profile and activities within the research training group for fostering early-career researchers. The Faculty also benefits from Prof. Hayday‘s participation in the scientific advisory council of the European Center for Angioscience, to which he has belonged since 2017.

Adrian Hayday studied biochemistry at Queen‘s College in Cambridge and obtained his PhD at Imperial College London. He then pursued postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). In 1985 he was appointed to Yale University and continued his research there for 13 years. In 1998 he returned to King's College London as Professor of Immunobiology. Prof. Hayday is the founding chair of the Peter Gorer Department of Immunobiology, founding director of Division of Immunology, Infection and Inflammatory Diseases and founder of the Centre for Inflammation Biology and Cancer Immunology. Since 2015 he has also been associated with the Francis Crick Institute, where he was recently appointed deputy director.

The Rector and the Dean will be the first speakers at the conferral ceremony for the honorary doctorate. Prof. Dr Adelheid Cerwenka, Vice-Dean for Research at the Medical Faculty Mannheim, will then give the laudatory address for Prof. Hayday. In his keynote lecture the guest of honour will speak on the topic “Life in the Square of Improbability”. To conclude the event, over 150 scholars who have completed their doctorates in the last year will receive their doctoral degree certificates. “Stroke Unit”, a band made up of students from the Medical Faculty Mannheim, will provide the musical setting.

Information for newsrooms:

The doctoral degree ceremony of the Medical Faculty Mannheim, with the awarding of an honorary doctorate to Prof. Dr Adrian Hayday, will take place on 16 July 2022 in the Great Hall of the Old University and begin at 10.30 a.m. Media representatives are warmly invited to attend and report. Please register by email to eva.wellnitz@medma.uni-heidelberg.de or calling 01520 / 9340765.