Leonard Herzenberg

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Leonard Herzenberg
Born Leonard Arthur Herzenberg
(1931-11-05)November 5, 1931
New York City, New York
Died October 27, 2013(2013-10-27) (aged 81)
Stanford, California
Nationality American
Alma mater Brooklyn College
California Institute of Technology
Known for FACS[1]
Spouse(s) Leonore Herzenberg[2]
Children Jana Herzen
Awards Kyoto Prize (2006)
Website www.herzenberglab.org
Scientific career
Fields Immunology, genetics
Institutions Stanford University
Pasteur Institute
Thesis Studies on a Cytochrome Destroying System in Neurospora (1956)
Doctoral advisor Herschel 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:

  • the ABRF Annual Award for Outstanding Contributions to Biomolecular Technologies, in 2013;
  • the Lifetime Service Award, American Association of Immunologists, in 1998;
  • the Edwin F. Ullman Award, American Association of Clinical Chemistry, in 2002;
  • the Novartis Immunology Prize, in 2004;
  • the Abbott Laboratories Award in Clinical and Diagnostic Immunology, American Society for Microbiology, in 2005; and
  • the 2006 Kyoto award for his work in cell biology;
  • the Ceppellini Award, International Foundation for Research in Experimental Medicine, in 2007, with his wife Lee Herzenberg for "their internationally recognized contributions to medicine."


  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, a service provided by Elsevier. (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. 

External links[edit]