Jack Remington, M.D.
Dr. Jack Remington has spent the better part of his life studying infectious diseases.
In nearly four decades as head of the Research Institute's Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Remington has become world-renowned for his pioneering work as a clinician, researcher and teacher.
The author or co-author of several books and more than 600 articles, he has won many prestigious national and international awards. He also has served as a medical consultant to governments throughout the world and headed numerous professional societies.
Remington is perhaps most well-known for his groundbreaking work with the microscopic parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, which can cause eye disease in children and adults, spontaneous abortion or severe disease in the fetus and newborn, and life-threatening disease in the brain, lungs and heart of immunosuppressed patients.
His research has led not only to major advances in the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of toxoplasmosis (an infection caused by T. gondii), but also the creation of the Toxoplasma Serology Laboratory at PAMF, the leading reference laboratory for the United States and much of the world. By using T. gondii as a scientific model, Dr. Remington and his colleagues have unlocked many secrets to the overall process of infection and the body's defenses against it.
Looking back on his career, Dr. Remington points to a number of highlights. "One of the things I am most proud of is that we were the first to demonstrate that one can diagnose an infection of the fetus and newborn if IgM (immunoglobulin M) antibodies are detected," he said. He developed what ultimately became the "TORCH" battery of tests for detecting IgM antibodies linked to several infectious agents -- T. gondii, rubella, cytomegalovirus and herpes. TORCH is used all over the world for diagnosis of these infections in newborns. In Europe, it is known as the "test du Remington."
A major clinical focus of Dr. Remington's has been the study of infections in patients with suppressed immune systems, including those with cancer, organ transplants or AIDS.
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Virtually all of the drugs used today to treat AIDS patients with toxoplasmic encephalitis were first tested in Dr. Remington's laboratory at the Research Institute.
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Training postdoctoral fellows has been a highlight of Dr. Remington's career. Many of Dr. Remington's former fellows, as well as other clinicians and scientists from the United States and Europe, came to Palo Alto in January 2001 to honor him on the occasion of his 70th birthday.
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