Tim Springer (Founder): His Scientific and Otherwise Life
Timothy A. Springer received his B.A. in Biochemistry from University of California in 1971, his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Harvard in 1976 and did a fellowship with Cesar Milstein in Cambridge, England. Dr. Springer is Latham Family Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Springer discovered many of the adhesion molecules of the immune and circulatory systems and the paradigm for leukocyte emigration from the bloodsteam by which white blood cells patrol the body to detect infection and accumulate to fight disease.
This work led to founding LeukoSite in 1993, which developed three drugs approved by the FDA.
This work led to numerous honors: Crafoord Prize, the American Association of Immunologists Meritorious Career Award, the Stratton Medal from the American Society of Hematology, and the Basic Research Prize from the American Heart Association. Springer is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Tim worked as a VISTA volunteer 1967-1968. He helped the Yomba Shoshone Tribe draft Tribal Resolutions, helped the tribe lobby Nevada for a paved road that now allows their children to live at home while they attend high school, started a 4-H club, and led teenagers in the Neighborhood Youth Corps Program. This picture is from his return to the Yomba Shoshone Reservation to re-unite with his teenage group. He lived in the house in the background. The only running water was in a nearby spring, and there was no electricity or heat aside from a wood stove.
Springer’s academic interests now focus on how protein conformational change together with tensile force activates integrins, von Willebrand factor, and the transforming growth factor-B family.
He has invested in Selecta since the B round and is currently a Board member. He is a founding investor in Moderna and Editas Medicine. He is a founder, investor, and board member of Scholar Rock and Morphic Therapeutic.
He is currently working on multiple non-profits, including an institute to advance entrepreneurship and innovation in protein therapeutics and a malaria vaccine.