Leonard Herzenberg

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Leonard Herzenberg
Leonard Arthur Herzenberg

(1931-11-05)November 5, 1931
DiedOctober 27, 2013(2013-10-27) (aged 81)
Alma materBrooklyn College
California Institute of Technology
Known forFACS[1]
Spouse(s)Leonore Herzenberg[2]
ChildrenJana Herzen
AwardsKyoto Prize (2006)
Scientific career
FieldsImmunology, genetics
InstitutionsStanford University
Pasteur Institute
ThesisStudies on a Cytochrome Destroying System in Neurospora (1956)
Doctoral advisorHerschel K. Mitchell[3]

Leonard Arthur "Len" Herzenberg (November 5, 1931 – October 27, 2013) was an immunologist, geneticist and professor at Stanford University. His contributions to the development of cell biology made it possible to sort viable cells by their specific properties.[2][4][5][6][7][8]


Herzenberg was born in New York City, U.S.A.. He received his bachelor's degree in 1952 from Brooklyn College in biology and chemistry. In 1955, he received his Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology in biochemistry with a specialization in immunology for studies on cytochrome in Neurospora.[3]


After school he was a postdoctoral fellow at the American Cancer Society, working in France at the Pasteur Institute. He returned to the United States in 1957 and worked for the National Institutes of Health as an officer in the Public Health Service department. He started working at Stanford in 1959. He eventually earned the title Professor of Genetics.[7]

In 1970 Herzenberg developed the fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS)[1][7] which revolutionized immunology and cancer biology, and is the basis for purification of adult stem cells.

Personal life[edit]

Herzenberg and his wife, Leonore Herzenberg,[2] ran the Herzenberg Laboratory at Stanford together[9] until his death. Their daughter, Jana Herzen, is a singer-songwriter and the founder of Motéma Music. He died on October 27, 2013, aged 81.[6]

Awards and honours[edit]

Herzenberg received a range of honours and awards during his life including:


  1. ^ a b Herzenberg, L. A.; Parks, D.; Sahaf, B.; Perez, O.; Roederer, M.; Herzenberg, L. A. (2002). "The history and future of the fluorescence activated cell sorter and flow cytometry: A view from Stanford". Clinical Chemistry. 48 (10): 1819–1827. PMID 12324512.
  2. ^ a b c Herzenberg, L. A.; Herzenberg, L. A.; Roederer, M. (2013). "A Conversation with Leonard and Leonore Herzenberg". Annual Review of Physiology. 76: 130819115335001. doi:10.1146/annurev-physiol-021113-170355. PMID 23957332.
  3. ^ a b Herzenberg, Leonard (1956). Studies on a cytochrome destroying system in Neurospora (PhD thesis). California Institute of Technology.
  4. ^ Roederer, M. (2013). "Leonard Herzenberg (1931–2013) Immunologist who pioneered cell-sorting technology". Nature. 504 (7478): 34. doi:10.1038/504034a.
  5. ^ Leonard Herzenberg's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  6. ^ a b Roederer, Mario (October 28, 2013). "Len Herzenberg - 1931-2013". Purdue University Cytometry Laboratories. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c "The History of the Cell Sorter Interviews". Record Unit 9554. Smithsonian Institution Archives. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  8. ^ Kalte, Pam M.; Nemeh, Katherine H.; and Schusterbauer, Noah (2005) "Herzenberg, Leonard Arthur (1931-)" American Men & Women of Science: A biographical directory of today's leaders in physical, biological and related sciences (22nd ed.)Thomson Gale, Detroit;
  9. ^ McCarthy, Pumtiwitt (2012). "The road well traveled together: A joint "Reflections" by Leonore and Leonard Herzenberg". ASBMB Today. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Past Recipients". The American Association of Immunologists. Retrieved 19 September 2018.

External links[edit]