Marc Jenkins

Regents Professor

Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School, 2018

Regents Professor Marc Jenkins, one of the world’s most distinguished immunologists, is a professor in the department of microbiology and immunology in the Medical School, the director of the University of Minnesota Center for Immunology, and a Distinguished McKnight University Professor. His groundbreaking research has advanced the entire field of immunology. His crucial contributions establish basic immunological principles for broadly solving human health problems, from developing more effective vaccines; to better treatments for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes; to improved success in transplantation and cancer immunotherapy. Jenkins’ career has been devoted to understanding how particular lymphocytes, called CD4 T cells, orchestrate the entire immune response to pathogens and cancer cells.

The importance of Jenkins’ work is apparent in his citation record, invitations to lecture, and the awards he has received. His 170 plus papers to date have been cited over 18,000 times, earning him recognition by the Institute for Scientific Information as a highly-cited researcher in Immunology. Five of his papers have been cited over 500 times and two over 1,000 times. His work appears frequently in the top journals such as Cell, Nature, Science, Immunity, and Nature Immunology. He has also authored numerous chapters in books. Jenkins has been invited to give more than 450 research seminars in the U.S. and abroad, 35 of which were keynote or honorary lectures.

He is the recipient of many national research awards including the PEW Scholars Award, NIH MERIT Award, and the American Association of Immunologist’s Meritorious Career Award. From the University of Minnesota, he received a Distinguished McKnight University Professor award (2002), the Academic Health Center Academy for Excellence in Health Research Award (2004), the Medical School’s Senior Investigator Award (2011), and a Medical School Dean’s Distinguished Lectureship (2015).

Jenkins is an outstanding teacher and mentor. He was instrumental in the creation of what is now known as the Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology PhD program and served as its first director of Graduate Studies. He received the University’s award for Outstanding Contributions to Post-Baccalaureate Graduate and Professional Education (2003) for establishing the program’s national reputation as a “premiere training environment in biomedical research.” He has been a mentor to 17 doctoral students and 24 postdoctoral fellows. Jenkins was awarded the 2018 American Association of Immunologist’s Excellence in Mentoring Award, which is given annually to one of the organization’s members who has profoundly influenced the lives of many people; in this case, his many predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees. He also serves as a mentor and advisor to many of his faculty colleagues and received the Carole J. Bland Outstanding Faculty Mentoring Award for his efforts in this area.

His service in and outside of the University is also exceptional. On the national level, he served as president of the American Association of Immunologists and as a member on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the PEW Scholars Program and the National Cancer Institute. At the University level, Jenkins has served as a faculty senator, a member of the Medical School Research Council, chair of the AHC Faculty Consultative Committee, co-chair of the Strategic Positioning Research Infrastructure Task Force, and chair of the Medical School Research Space Utilization Committee. At the community level, he served as an elected member of the Richfield School Board.

Professor Jenkins has proven to be an eminent representative of the University of Minnesota and exemplifies the qualities of a Regents Professor in all respects

Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.