Marian Koshland

October 25th

Born 25 Oct 1921; died 28 Oct 1997 at age 76.
American immunologist who discovered that the differences in amino acid composition of antibodies explains the efficiency and effectiveness with which they combat a huge range of foreign invaders. During WWII, her post-graduate studies included assisting with projects developing an Asiatic cholera vaccine, and combatting transmission of airborne pathogens in army barracks. In 1970 she became a professor of Microbiology and Immunology, after which she discovered the J chain (a B cell antibody subunit). In 1991, with colleagues, she identified a specialized intracellular pathway that transports antibodies into blood circulation, allowing for the multiplication of B cells essential in fighting infection.

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