Press Releases

Seattle, WA - Jan 18, 2024

Benaroya Research Institute President Jane Buckner, MD, Receives 2024 American Association of Immunologists’ Steinman Award for Human Immunology Research

Dr. Buckner's pioneering work is recognized for advancing the science to understand autoimmune disease.

Jane Buckner, MD, president of Benaroya Research Institute, is the recipient of the prestigious 2024 American Association of Immunologists' Steinman Award for Human Immunology Research. This annual award by the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the understanding of immune processes underlying human disease pathogenesis, prevention or therapy.

Jane Buckner

Specifically, Dr. Buckner is honored in recognition of her substantial contributions to defining and characterizing the genetic basis of human autoimmunity. Some of the work relevant to the award includes understanding antigen specificity is a hallmark of adaptive T cell-mediated immune responses; how a variant of the PTPN22 gene is associated with an increased risk for the development of a wide array of autoimmune disorders; the pathogenic mechanisms for how type 1 diabetes develops; and much more.

"I am truly humbled to receive the 2024 AAI Steinman Award for Human Immunology Research,” said Dr. Buckner. “This recognition is a testament to the collective effort at BRI in unraveling the complexities of immune processes underlying human disease. Thank you to the AAI for this honor."

In acknowledgment of her outstanding achievements, Dr. Buckner will present her cutting-edge research in an award lecture, which will be preceded by the official award presentation on Sunday, May 5, 2024,  at the AAI’s annual meeting, IMMUNOLOGY 2024, in Chicago. 

“Jane has been a pioneer in expanding our knowledge of the human immune system in health and disease,” said Steven Ziegler, Ph.D., principal investigator and director of external collaboration at BRI. “Perhaps more importantly, she has been at the forefront of creating infrastructure to allow others, including me, to expand their research from model systems into humans. She led the way and we all followed.”

Dr. Buckner’s current research focuses on engineered regulatory T cells, a groundbreaking new approach that uses a person’s own cells to treat autoimmune diseases. Most autoimmune disease treatments slow down the entire immune system, leaving a person vulnerable to infections. This approach holds the promise of a highly-targeted treatment aimed at the root cause of disease — and could potentially open the door to cures. Her team is first examining this approach in type 1 diabetes and plans to apply it to other autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. As a practicing rheumatologist, Dr. Buckner’s patients are the driving force behind her work and her motivation to find better treatments and cures. She became BRI’s president in 2016 and has since been steering the organization toward the bold and transformative vision of a healthy immune system for everyone. 

Previous winners of this prestigious award include Nobel Prize laureate James P. Allison as well as Carl June, who pioneered the development of CAR-T cell therapy.

Blog Main Image - BRI Building Rear

About Benaroya Research Institute

Benaroya Research Institute (BRI) is a world leader in human immune system research. BRI works to advance the science that will predict, prevent, reverse and cure immune system diseases like allergies, asthma, cancer, COVID-19 and autoimmune diseases. BRI accelerates discovery through laboratory breakthroughs in immunology that are then translated to clinical therapies. We believe that a breakthrough in one immune system disease can lead to progress against them all, and work tirelessly toward our vision of a healthy immune system for everyone. BRI is a world-renowned independent nonprofit research institute affiliated with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health and based in Seattle.

To learn more, visit and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Threads, LinkedIn, X and YouTube.