NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - September 06, 2013) - It is with great sadness that the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) announces the passing of immediate past Chairman of their National Scientific Advisory Committee (NSAC) Lloyd Mayer, MD. Dr. Mayer was also Professor and Co-Director of the Immunology Institute, the Dorothy and David Merksamer Professor of Medicine, and Professor of Microbiology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center.
"Lloyd was a visionary leader and a brilliant researcher who was involved with CCFA for almost 30 years," said Richard Geswell, President & CEO of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. "He was fundamental in helping us set our research agenda. His passion, leadership, scientific expertise, and commitment to improving the lives of patients, will be his legacy here at CCFA."
Dr. Mayer's research focused on mucosal immunoregulation, inflammatory bowel disease and cytokine regulation of human B-cell differentiation with special attention on the role of intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) in regulatory T-cell responses in the gut. He and his team were the first to show that the epithelial lining cells of the intestine are active regulators of mucosal immune responses that are distinct from those that regulate systemic immunity. These findings had a profound significance in the development of highly effective anti-inflammatory drugs for IBD.
Dr. Mayer had been a part of CCFA's research programs since the mid 1980s and he held several key leadership positions including Chair of the Research Training Awards Committee, Chair of the Grants Review Committee, a member of the Research Initiative Committee and most recently Chair of the National Scientific Advisory Committee. As Chair, Dr. Mayer revived CCFA's Clinical Research Alliance, was a force in the Microbiome initiative and laid the foundation for the CCFA Partners in Research Program (ccfapartners.org) which is a groundbreaking, online research database.
"Lloyd always said that he grew up scientifically with CCFA and he was particularly committed to sharing his expertise by training the next generation of young IBD investigators," said Marjorie Merrick, Vice President of Research & Scientific Programs. "He was a dedicated and awe-inspiring teacher, mentor and colleague to IBD researchers worldwide and a staunch friend to all he knew. He will be sorely missed."
Dr. Mayer graduated from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 1976 and received the Mosby Award for Clinical Excellence at that time. From 1980 through 1984, Dr. Mayer held joint appointments at Rockefeller University and Mount Sinai.
He pursued his immunology interests in the laboratory of the late Dr. Henry Kunkel. In 1985, he became Associate Professor of Medicine and Microbiology at Mount Sinai. In 1986, he became the Director of the Division of Clinical Immunology. Shortly after achieving full Professorships in Medicine and Microbiology in 1990, Dr. Mayer became Vice Chair of Medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. He also received the Jeffrey Modell Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1994, Dr. Mayer was named the David and Dorothy Merksamer Chair of Medicine and in 1997 became Professor of Immunobiology and Chair of the Immunobiology Center at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. In 2007, he became Professor and Co-Director of the Immunology Institute. He was also the Director of the Division of Gastroenterology (2003-2010).
Dr. Mayer received many awards for a life time of outstanding work including the Saul Horowitz Award and the Irma T. Hirschl Trust Career Development Award, the Jeffrey Modell Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute Award for Scientific Excellence, and the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Scientific Achievement Award in Basic IBD Research. He spoke and published widely, and his research was consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health. He also leaves behind multiple generations of physicians who trained with and were mentored by him.
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America staff and volunteers extend our deepest sympathy to the Mayer family. He is survived by his wife Dr. Jill Fishbane-Mayer and three children, Sara, Marisa and Josh.
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is the largest voluntary nonprofit health organization dedicated to finding cures for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). CCFA's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults who suffer from these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research, providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public, and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD. For more information, visit www.ccfa.org, call 888-694-8872, like us on Facebook, find us on LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter.