Ralph A. Reisfeld, PhD
Dr. Reisfeld was born in Stutgart Germany on April 23, 1926. He escaped to Switzerland in 1938 a few days before “Kristallnacht”. He immigrated to the USA in 1947 and received his PhD in biochemistry from Ohio State University in 1957. From 1957 to 1970 he worked at the National Cancer Institute and at Merck on characterization of immunoglobulin and MHC.
Dr. Reisfeld joined the Scripps institute in 1970 and focused on characterization of melanoma and neuroblastoma associated antigens. In 1984 his lab generated the first murine monoclonal anti-GD2 antibody. He subsequently led generation of the chimeric ch14.18, carried out preclinical testing and CMC data for opening the very first IND of a monoclonal antibody generated by recombinant DNA technology. His research and leadership were instrumental in securing production, clinical trials, and eventually marketing approval in the USA and Europe for anti-GD2 monoclonal antibodies for neuroblastoma.
Dr. Reisfeld retired in 2012 after publishing over 400 scientific articles and receiving two 7-year Outstanding Investigator Awards from the National Cancer Institute. He was a lifelong and supportive friend and supporter of his own students, collaborators, and many in the field of neuroblastoma research.