Fred Ramsdell, PhD, is a veteran biotechnology leader in immunology with nearly three decades of experience. He currently leads the development of collaborative research programs at the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy as vice president of research.
After a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Ramsdell joined Immunex, studying T-cell activation and tolerance. A major part of his work included the identification and characterization of various tumor necrosis factors and their receptors, proteins that play an important role in inflammation and immunity. He later joined Darwin Molecular, which was acquired by Celltech, to establish the immunology program. His work there included important discoveries about regulatory T-cells that counteract harmful immune reactions in arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. He demonstrated that mutation in the gene now known as FOXP3, which is vital to regulatory T-cells, causes a severe congenital disease called IPEX. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which also awards the Nobel Prizes, honored Dr. Ramsdell and two other scientists in 2017 with the Crafoord Prize for their pioneering work related to regulatory T-cells and the role of the FOXP3 gene.
In 2004, Dr. Ramsdell joined ZymoGenetics, where he led teams studying novel proteins with potential regulatory activity in lymphoid cells. In 2008, Novo Nordisk brought Dr. Ramsdell on to help establish the company’s new Inflammation Research Center in Seattle and lead the immunobiology group.
Immediately prior to joining the Parker Institute, Dr. Ramsdell served as vice president at aTyr Pharma in San Diego, as well as serving on several scientific advisory boards.
He earned his doctoral degree in microbiology and immunology from the University of California, Los Angeles and holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and cell biology from the University of California, San Diego.