Stanley Falkow ’61 Ph.D.
Most of the work done on the world’s infectious diseases has focused on preventing their spread or treating their victims with antibiotics that are showing increasing signs of losing their efficacy. Stanley Falkow has spent his research career on an approach to infectious disease that may eventually make antibiotics obsolete.
“From the mites that inhabit the eyebrows to the seething cauldron of more than 600 species of bacteria that inhabit the large bowel,” Falkow has written, “we are a veritable garden of micro-organisms.” Although most of these are innocuous, the pathogenic ones “have learned secrets…on how to breach our local defenses and gain entry into our body.”
By studying the molecular structure and evolution of such disease-causing pathogens, Falkow is uncovering those secrets and pointing the way toward new and more effective ways of defending against infectious diseases. This work has earned Falkow, a professor at Stanford, the title “father of pathogenesis.”