Jean-Laurent Casanova received his M.D. in 1987 and his Ph.D. in 1992, after training at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Lausanne. He was appointed professor at Necker in 1999 and with Laurent Abel, cofounded the Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases. He was appointed professor at Rockefeller University in 2008 and named HHMI investigator in 2014. He continues to partner with Dr. Abel, maintaining their lab in Paris and NY.
Over the last 25 years, they discovered the first monogenic inborn errors of immunity, rare and common, which predispose otherwise healthy individuals to a single infectious disease, including a variety of viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. In response to the SARS-CoV-2 Global Pandemic, Dr Casanova cofounded the COVID Human Genetic Effort with Helen Su at the NIAID. He discovered monogenic inborn errors of type I interferon immunity underlying severe forms of COVID-19 in previously healthy individuals. This led to his discovery that pre-existing autoantibodies to type I interferons account for at least 10% of severe cases.
Dr. Casanova was recipient of multiple international awards, including the Dautrebande Prize (Belgium, 2004), Richard Lounsbery Award (USA/France, 2008), E. Mead Johnson Award (USA, 2010), InBev Baillet-Latour Health Prize (Belgium, 2011), Ilse and Helmut Wachter Foundation Award (Austria, 2012), Milstein Award (USA, 2012), Robert Koch Award (Germany, 2014), Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Award (France, 2014), Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award (USA, 2016), and Inserm Grand Prix (France, 2016). He was elected to EMBO (2005), USA National Academy of Sciences (2015), USA National Academy of Medicine (2015), Abarca Prize (Spain, 2021) and Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium (2021).