Yale School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital
New Haven, CT | USA


David A. Hafler, M.D. is the William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly Professor and Chairman Department of Neurology and Professor of Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine, and is the Neurologist-in-Chief of the Yale-New Haven Hospital. Hafler graduated magna cum laude in 1974 from Emory University with combined B.S. and M.Sc. degrees in biochemistry, and the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1978. He completed his internship in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins followed by a neurology residency at Cornell Medical Center-New York Hospital in New York. Hafler was trained in immunology with Henry Kunkel at the Rockefeller University and then at Harvard Medical School joining the Harvard faculty in 1984. He became the Breakstone Professorship of Neurology at Harvard 1999 and was a founding Associated Member of the Broad Institute at MIT. His discoveries in the pathogenesis and treatment of multiple sclerosis have led to fundamental understanding of the disease and the development of novel treatments. His seminal work includes identification of human autoreactive T cells and the mechanisms that underlie their dysregulation with the discovery of human regulatory T cells. He led the discovery of genetic variants causing MS and demonstrated how these variants alter immune responses in relationship to environmental factors such as salt allowing activation of autoreactive T cells. Hafler has over 480 publications in the field of MS, autoimmunity, and immunology and has served as a member of the editorial boards for Journal of Clinical Investigation and the Journal of Experimental Medicine and is co-founder of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies and the International MS Genetic Consortium. He was a Jacob Javits Merit Award Recipient from the NIH and was awarded the Dystel Prize for MS research from the AAN, the University of Miami Annual Distinguished Alumni Award, the Raymond Adams Prize from the ANA and is the 2023 recipient of the prestigious 2023 AAI Steinman Award for Human Immunology Research. Hafler is an Honorary Member of the Scandinavian Society for Immunology a Fellow in the American Association of Immunologist, and has been elected to the AOA Society, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, The Association of American Physicians, and the National Academy of Medicine.