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Dr. James Carlyle 

In Memoriam

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the recent passing of Dr. James R. Carlyle. I first met Jim when he was interviewing for a postdoc position (in his trademark shorts and sandals, comfort over fashion always for Jim!). Jim was a long-time friend and collaborator who introduced me to the NKR-P1 family, and through his inexhaustible enthusiasm for the subject published many important studies including his crowning achievement, the identification of the NKR-P1C (NK1.1) viral ligand (Cell, 2018).

‘It’s better to collaborate than to compete’ was a phrase he frequently used. And he lived this motto entirely as many members of NK community, and outside it, can testify. Anyone who has met Jim will know what a friendly and helpful person he was. Jim loved attending scientific conferences and I think the biggest reason was to meet new people with whom to potentially collaborate and, even better, to make new friendships and discuss his favourite subject (NKR-P1) over a few beers.

Jim completed his PhD at the University of Toronto studying early T and NK cell development with Dr. Juan-Carlos Zuñiga-Pflücker, and then went on to postdoc with Dr. David Raulet at the University of California in Berkely studying MHC-independent missing-self recognition by NK cells. His trainees, peers, and mentors will always remember Jim as a gifted scientist and a compassionate mentor, making his loss all the more painful to the scientific community. His research papers are a joy to read - logical progression based on well-designed experiments - and give first-hand evidence to his brilliant thought process. I highly recommend them to young investigators. His wisdom, scientific rigor, and love for immunology lives on through three of his mentees who are active in academic research. 

Jim was too young for anyone to be writing this tribute. Our hearts go out to his family and especially his two sons. Their father will be deeply missed.


By: Andrew Makrigiannis with Oscar Aguilar and Miho Tanaka

Published Dec 06, 2022


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