Immunologist honored for contributions to medical science

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center immunologist Elizabeth Repasky, Ph.D., was awarded the 2019 Distinguished Biomedical Alumna Award from the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Presented on May 3, the annual award recognizes Jacobs School graduates, residents and volunteers who have been recognized nationally or internationally for outstanding contributions to medicine and biomedical sciences, the arts or humanities.

Repasky earned her doctorate in anatomical sciences from the Jacobs School in 1981 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology.

Repasky is a distinguished professor of oncology, the Dr. William Huebsch Professor of Immunology and program leader for the cell stress and biophysical therapies program at Roswell Park.

In recent years, her groundbreaking research into the impact of body temperature and thermal stress on immunotherapy has led to clinical trials at the cancer center.

“Betsy is not only a leading expert in thermal medicine and the impact of cellular stress, but someone whose work is helping us to make cancer therapies more effective,” said physician Kelvin Lee, chairman of the department of immunology at Roswell Park. “We are so very proud to see her selected for this well-deserved honor.”

“Dr. Repasky’s ongoing contributions to the field of immunology, as well as her generous mentoring of graduate and postgraduate trainees at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been a source of pride for the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences,” said physician Michael E. Cain, vice president for health sciences and dean of UB’s Jacobs School. “It is a privilege to recognize her exceptional achievements.”

A native of western Pennsylvania, Repasky also earned a bachelor of arts in biology from Seton Hill University. Her previous awards include the 2018 J. Eugene Robinson Award and the William C. Dewey Award for mentorship, both from the Society for Thermal Medicine, Seton Hill University’s Distinguished Alumna Leadership Award, Roswell Park’s Thomas B. Tomasi Hope Award and several mentorship and teaching awards, including UB’s 2018 Graduate Student Association Award for Faculty Excellence in Mentoring and Teaching.