Dr. Dan L. Longo received his A.B. degree from Washington University in St. Louis and his M.D. cum laude from the University of Missouri. He completed training in Internal Medicine at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. His fellowship in Oncology and Hematology was completed at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. Following his clinical training, he did post-doctoral laboratory training in the Laboratory of Immunology (William Paul, Chief) of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH. In 1980, he became a Senior Investigator (tenured) in the Medicine Branch of the NCI and in 1985, he became the Director of the NCI’s Biological Response Modifiers Program. In 1995, he became Scientific Director at the National Institute on Aging and remained there until 2010.
After 33 years at the NIH, he returned to Boston in 2010 as Senior Physician in the Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and became Deputy Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.
He has published nearly 900 peer-reviewed papers, review articles, editorials, and book chapters and has been an editor of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine since 1994, including serving as Editor-in-Chief of the 18th edition. He has written or edited 25 books.
His major research interest has been T- and B-cell development and the control of normal and malignant lymphocyte proliferation. He and his colleagues identified key cell interactions in T-cell development, demonstrated the influence of positive and negative selection on both B-cell and T-cell repertoires, and showed the stimulatory effects of certain hormones on thymic function. His group demonstrated that signals delivered through cell surface receptors associated with the activation of normal lymphocytes could kill or irreversibly growth-inhibit malignant lymphocytes. Thus, immunoglobulin receptors, class II MHC molecules, and CD40 were identified as targets for therapy of B-cell lymphomas and T-cell antigen receptors and CD30 were identified as targets for therapy of T cell lymphomas. All of these targets are being tested for clinical efficacy.
His group identified a specific form of immune suppression associated with the tumor-bearing state and applied the findings to adoptive immunotherapy studies in man. They also described an important subtype of lymphoma and developed new therapies for Hodgkin’s disease and lymphoma that are safer and more effective. His group was the first to immunize a normal bone marrow donor against the host’s tumor and transfer tumor-specific immunity to the host.
He has been listed in every edition of Best Doctors in America. He is in the top 1% of cited authors in life sciences. His awards include the NIH Merit Award, the NIH Director’s Award (twice), outstanding service medals and unit commendations from the US Public Health Service, and the Tovi Comet-Walerstein Award.