John D. Lambris received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1979. He is the Dr. Ralph and Sallie Weaver Professor of Research Medicine in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Using complement as a model system, Dr. Lambris applies ideas and methods embodied in engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, biomedicine, and other fields to study the structure and functions of the complement system.
Dr. Lambris’ laboratory is among the first to characterize the diverse functions of third complement component (C3) and to define its complex binding dynamics to various C3 natural ligands, viral proteins, complement receptors, and regulators. His laboratory contributed in the development of complement-based anti-inflammatory therapeutics through the discovery of the first small-size complement inhibitor, termed Compstatin, which has exhibited consistent efficacy in clinical trials and approved for clinic use. Lambris lab also established an unprecedented association of complement components with non-inflammatory pathways by demonstrating the involvement of complement in the developmental processes, including liver and limb regeneration, hematopoietic development and stem cell engraftment. Dr. Lambris has also contributed in the field of evolutionary immunology by identifying multiple complement genes in fish and the mechanism by which they expand immune recognition and develop a versatile innate immune system to compensate for their weak adaptive immune repertoire.
Dr. Lambris has published over 500 papers in peer-reviewed journals (H index >137, citations >68,942) and is the editor of several books and special journal issues; listed from 2018-2023 in Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers. He has delivered invited lectures and served as a session chairperson at various national and international scientific conferences, organized workshops, and group discussion sessions. Dr. Lambris is the Founder and Executive Director of Aegean Conferences, an independent, nonprofit, educational 501(C3) organization. He also serves as an Editorial Board Member of several peer-reviewed journals, and has served as the President of the International Complement Society. He is the inventor of patents and/or patent applications that describe the use of complement inhibitors for therapeutic purposes; the founder of Amyndas Pharmaceuticals, which is developing complement inhibitors (including third-generation compstatin analogues such as AMY‑101) for clinical applications, and the inventor of the compstatin technology licensed to Apellis Pharmaceuticals (4(1MeW)7W (also known as POT‑4 and APL‑1) and pegylated derivatives such as APL-9 and APL-2/Pegcetatoplan/Empaveli/Aspavelli/Syfovre which has been approved by FDA for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and as the first treatment for Geographic Atrophy — an advanced stage of age-related macular degeneration that is a leading cause of blindness. His publication in 1988 (in collaboration with Y. Frei and B. Stockinger) on the generation of the first monoclonal antibody to C5 spearheaded the development of therapeutic anti‑C5 antibodies such as eculizumab (Soliris).
Dr. Lambris has received more than $50 million research funding from various institutions and agencies including the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), American Cancer Society, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), and the European Union (FP7 program).