Susan Zolla-Pazner is a biologist who has devoted her professional life to areas of immunology where basic research intersects with the needs of modern medicine. By 1981, Zolla-Pazner had an established reputation for studying the immune systems of individuals with cancer. At that time she was asked to consult on several patients who had an unusual type of tumor. These were the first patients to be seen with a new form of Kaposiís sarcoma, a tumor related to the disease, which, only later, became known as AIDS.
In the two decades since, Zolla-Pazner has authored more than 150 scientific papers on AIDS and related illnesses. She collaborates actively with researchers around the world and has support through the National Institutes of Health for her studies to develop an AIDS vaccine. She trains students and health care professionals from India, Cameroon, and China in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of AIDS and tuberculosis.
On a personal level, Zolla-Pazner has been married for 29 years to Sherman Pazner, a psychiatrist in private practice in Manhattan, who is on the faculty of New York University. They have two children. Zolla-Pazner and her husband are involved in the cultural life of New York as founding members of the Helicon Chamber Music Foundation and supporters of the Third Street Music School.