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Jonathan Kipnis, Ph.D. is a Harrison Distinguished Professor and Chair of Department of Neuroscience and Director of Center for Brain Immunology and Glia (BIG) at the University of Virginia (UVA). His lab focuses on the complex interactions between the immune system and the central nervous system (CNS).
Kipnis's research team showed that the brain function is dependent, in part, on the function and integrity of the immune system and that immune molecules (cytokines) can play neuromodulatory roles. The fascination with immunity and its role in neurophysiology is what brought the team to a breakthrough discovery of meningeal lymphatic vessels that drain the CNS into the peripheral lymph nodes and thus serve as a physical connection between the brain and the immune system. The implications of this work are broad and range from Autism to Alzheimer's disease through neuroinflammatory conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis. Dr. Kipnis graduated from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, where he was a Sir Charles Clore scholar and a recipient of distinguished prize for scientific achievements awarded by the Israeli Parliament, The Knesset.
He joined UVA faculty in 2007. In 2018 he received a prestigious NIH Director's Pioneer award.