Miller School Cellular and Molecular Biologist Named AAI Distinguished Fellow 

Dr. Blomberg’s research has shed considerable light on the effects of aging, obesity and inflammation on immune response.

The American Association of Immunologists (AAI) has recognized the innovative work of University of Miami Miller School of Medicine cellular and molecular biologist Bonnie Blomberg, Ph.D., by naming her a Distinguished Fellow of AAI. 

The Distinguished Fellow designation is among the highest honors the AAI bestows, recognizing significant contributions to immunology research, distinction as an educator and exceptional leadership in the field. 

“Membership in AAI has truly enriched my career, and being named a Distinguished Fellow is an honor,” Dr. Blomberg said. “I share the recognition with the many outstanding scientists I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the years. My work would not have been possible without them.”

With colleague Daniela Frasca, Ph.D., Dr. Blomberg developed molecular biomarkers for optimal B lymphocyte function, an integral factor in immune system response.

Only active, long-term AAI members are eligible to be Distinguished Fellows. Sixty-eight countries are represented by the organization’s nearly 8,000 members, but only 150 immunology luminaries have been named Distinguished Fellows, including this year’s 22 awardees. Dr. Blomberg has been an AAI member since 1982, one year before becoming an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the Miller School.

“We are proud that Dr. Blomberg has been named as an AAI Distinguished Fellow,” said Thomas Malek, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. “This is well-deserved recognition for Dr. Blomberg’s contribution to the field of immunology and her service to AAI.”

Dr. Blomberg’s research explores the effects of aging, obesity and inflammation on immune response in mice and humans. With her colleagues in her laboratory, Dr. Blomberg and Daniela Frasca, Ph.D., developed molecular biomarkers for optimal B lymphocyte function, an integral factor in the immune system’s reaction to pathogens.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology Chair Thomas Malek, Ph.D.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology Chair Thomas Malek, Ph.D., says Dr. Blomberg’s AAI Distinguished Fellowship is well-deserved.

Dr. Blomberg led the research team that demonstrated B lymphocyte function decreases with age and inflammation in unstimulated B cells increases with age. Her laboratory has also shown that obesity contributes to inflammation that compromises immune system response. 

Her collaboration with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center breast cancer researcher Michael Antoni, Ph.D., revealed the benefits of stress management in relation to inflammation, immune measures and survival rates for breast cancer patients. Dr. Blomberg’s team found decreased inflammation, improved immune measures, and increased survival in breast cancer patients engaged in cognitive behavioral stress management. Recently they found that higher levels of “social well-being” (satisfaction with social resources) related to less leukocyte pro-inflammatory and pro-metastatic gene expression. 

Over the course of her distinguished career, Dr. Blomberg has earned the Merit Award from the National Institutes of Health, the University of Miami’s Provost Scholars’ Award and first place in Sylvester’s research poster competition in the category of biopsychosocial cancer control. 

Tags: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Dr. Bonnie Blomberg, immune system