Karl Meyer Lectureship Award

In 1990, the Society established the Karl Meyer Lectureship Award to honor the distinguished career of Karl Meyer and his outstanding contributions to the field of Glycobiology. This international award is presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society to a well-established scientist with a currently active research program who has made widely recognized major contributions to the field of Glycobiology.

2022 Awardee - Dr. Gabriel A. Rabinovich

The Karl Meyer Lectureship Award was established in 1990 to honor the distinguished career of Karl Meyer and his outstanding contributions to the field of Glycobiology. This international award is given to well-established scientists with currently active research programs who have made widely recognized major contributions to the field of Glycobiology.

The 2022 Karl Meyer Award will be presented to Dr. Gabriel A. Rabinovich, who is Director of the Laboratory of Glycomedicine at the Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine (IBYME) at the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina and Professor of Immunology at the Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires. Dr. Rabinovich conducted both his undergraduate and doctoral studies at the Faculty of Chemical Sciences at the National University of Córdoba. Starting from an unexpected discovery in the early 90's, involving the identification of galectin-1 in cells of the monocyte/macrophage lineage, Gabriel embarked in a long journey dedicated to explore the functions of this glycan-binding protein as well as other members of the galectin family in the regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses. In 1999 he moved to the city of Buenos Aires where he carried out post-doctoral studies and immediately became an independent investigator. During the course of over three decades, Dr. Rabinovich has established himself as a worldwide leading scientist in glycosciences, making highly significant, paradigm-shifting observations from the very basic mechanisms involved in the activity of galectins and their glycosylated ligands on regulation of immune homeostasis, to translational aspects relevant to cancer, autoimmune inflammation, microbial infection, and other aspects of human health and disease. As a result of his efforts and those of his team, Gabriel demonstrated that endogenous galectins can translate glycan-encoded information into novel regulatory programs that control tumor immunity, promote resolution of inflammation and autoimmune diseases, induce feto-maternal tolerance, sustain angiogenesis, modulate cardiovascular pathology, and control host-pathogen interactions by regulating the fate and function of different cell types.

It is noteworthy that Gabriel has developed his scientific career entirely in Argentina, where he successfully established a broad multidisciplinary research program in the field of glycosciences. His contributions, reflected in more than 300 widely cited publications, mostly in high profile journals, as well as several awarded patents, have led to the discovery of novel findings and development of innovative technologies. This translational potential has inspired Gabriel and his team to create a biotech platform called "Galtec Life" focused on the design, early development, and clinical validation of next generation galectin-based therapeutics.

Recognition of Gabriel’s standing within the international scientific community has led to his appointment as an international member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA in 2016, the Third World Academy of Science (TWAS) in 2014, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in 2022, and the highest national scientific honors, including the "Outstanding Investigator of Argentina" as well as the Konex and Bunge & Born Awards. Additionally, Gabriel has worked to increase the visibility of glycobiology worldwide by organizing and co-organizing several training courses and scientific meetings, including the First Keystone Meeting in Glycoimmunology in Lake Louise (Canada) and the Glycoimmunology Conference in the context of the World Congress of Immunology in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and serving as guest editor of special issues focused on glycosciences in several journals. He also has generously shared his expertise and resources with the scientific community, helping to expand glycobiology into established fields including immunology, oncology, neurobiology, cardiovascular research, hematology, and microbiology. In this regard, he has delivered more than 400 lectures worldwide in prestigious scientific conferences including Gordon, Keystone, Sapporo, EMBO, HHMI, Jenner, and Cell Press. His work has been supported by prestigious national and international agencies and he serves as an Editorial Board member or Associate Editor of several high-profile journals. Finally, Gabriel has promoted and expanded the field of glycobiology by training numerous students and fellows in Argentina and South America, including undergraduate, graduate, and PhD students, as well as postdoctoral fellows and research associates. 

In summary, Gabriel’s scientific contributions have been at the forefront of the glycosciences and his work continues to inspire others inside and outside the field. Gabriel is an active, outstanding, and generous scientist with a strong commitment to scientific progress in all areas of basic and translational research, education, mentoring, and service to the community. Thus, Gabriel is a highly deserving recipient of the 2022 Karl Meyer Lectureship Award, the highest award given by the Society for Glycobiology.