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Bloomberg Distinguished Professorship of Immunology and Pathogenesis

School of Medicine, Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Established in 2014 by Michael R. Bloomberg

MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG is a Johns Hopkins alumnus, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, World Health Organization Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, and former New York City mayor.

He is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who served as mayor of New York City from 2002-2013 after leading the company he started in 1981 for 20 years. Since leaving City Hall, he has resumed leadership of Bloomberg LP.

Bloomberg was elected mayor less than two months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Under his leadership, the city rebounded faster and stronger than expected on issues ranging from education to health to economic development.

A lifelong philanthropist, Bloomberg founded Bloomberg Philanthropies, which focuses on five main areas: public health, education, the environment, the arts, and government innovation. He also leads a number of bi-partisan coalitions on urgent issues, including climate change, illegal guns, immigration reform, and infrastructure investment. In January 2013, he made the $350 million gift that established the Bloomberg Distinguished Professorships and provided undergraduate financial aid.

Bloomberg graduated from Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Business School.


Nilabh Shastri was the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Immunology and Pathogenesis. He passed away on January 22, 2021.

Shastri was a pioneer in the area of immune surveillance, exploring the molecular mechanisms behind T-cell activation. This line of research could yield a wide range of clinical applications, including the treatment of autoimmune disorders and the development of vaccines, but it has especially promising implications for cancer immunotherapy.

Shastri’s research was focused on deciphering how our immune system recognizes quickly changing foreign elements to gear up for an effective response. He found innovative ways to identify antigens that uniquely mark certain viruses, microbes, tissues, and diseases—including cancer. Some of Shastri’s most notable work focused on manipulations of the so-called “antigen presentation pathway,” which triggers immune responses by displaying snippets of intracellular proteins on the surface.

Shastri joined Johns Hopkins University as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in 2018 from the University of California, Berkeley. He held appointments in the Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, and the Department of Biology, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.