Ariel Hollinshead, CCAS MA ’55, PhD ’57, joined the faculty of the George Washington University Medical Center (GWUMC) in 1959 as Assistant Professor of Pharmacology. In 1974, she became Professor of Medicine. In 1991, Dr. Hollinshead became Professor Emerita. Dr. Hollinshead is described by her colleagues as the “Mother of Immunotherapy.”
At GW, she taught classes in pharmacology, virology, immunology, and oncology, and in 1964 established the Laboratory for Virus and Cancer Research. She discovered and developed purified, specific active tumor-associated antigens (TAA). With T. Stewart, she was the first to do clinical tests of TAA vaccines in lung cancer patients. Using monoclonal antibodies, she prepared epitopes for a reverse enzyme immunoassay to predict the success of their immunotherapy. She and other workers in her lab continued to work on many types of cancer with a view to identifying TAAs and cooperating with oncologists experienced in a particular type of cancer. She has produced over 275 published scientific papers detailing her work and discoveries. In 1976, Dr. Hollinshead was named Medical Woman of the Year by the Joint Board of American Medical Colleges, and described as “one of the few women in our country who….will receive lasting distinction by applying the principles of basic research to the diseases of humanity.”
She serves on Oncology Boards of three institutions, including the Medical College of Pennsylvania (now Drexel University) where she received the Marion Spencer Fay National Board Award for Women in Medicine (Distinguished Woman Physician/Scientist) for 1975–76. A complete set of five volumes of her work are separately housed in the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and in three universities: Drexel, Ohio University and GW.