Elizabeth Hirak Field is an academic scholar and professor in the University of Iowa’s Department of Internal Medicine.
Field received her BS degree in Physics (Magna Cum Laude) from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She received her MD degree from Penn State's Hershey Medical Center where she also performed her residency in Internal Medicine. She conducted a five-year post doctorate fellowship in both Immunology and Rheumatology at Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA. Field has served as a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa since 1986. She also directs the VA Medical Center. Iowa Regional Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Laboratory .
Field has conducted research  in transplantation immunology, immunologic tolerance and CD4+CD25+ regulatory cells and has a patent pending for: CD4+CD25+ Inhibitory Hybridoma Clones. Field's research focuses on mechanisms of acquired immunologic tolerance by studying mouse models of neonatal tolerance and acquired tolerance in the adult. Acquired tolerance in the adult is accomplished using total lymphoid irradiation (TLI) and hematopoietic cell transfer to establish donor mixed-chimerism. In both neonatal and adult models of tolerance, IL-4 has been identified as a necessary cytokine for tolerance induction. CD4+-TNK cells, which produce high levels of IL-4, are enriched by TLI treatment and may play an important role in tolerance induction. Field's laboratory has identified CD4+CD25+ regulatory cells that inhibit CD8+ alloreactivity in mice with acquired tolerance to foreign MHC. CD4+CD25+ hybridomas have been generated from tolerant mice. These CD4+CD25+ hybridomas resemble in function the naturally occurring CD4+CD25+ regulatory cells. The laboratory is currently investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the CD4+CD25+ regulatory cells inhibit alloreactivity as well as T:B cell interactions in the induction and maintenance of tolerance. Field's research on tolerance is especially relevant to gene therapy and host immunoreactivity to viral vectors and/or neoantigens from the vectors system or from the delivered gene.
Field has earned numerous scholarships and academic honors including VA Career Development Award, Northern Illinois Chapter of the Lupus Foundation, Outstanding Investigator of the Central Society for Clinical Research, Alumni Fellow Award, Penn State University College of Medicine; 2006 Millersville University of Pennsylvania commencement speaker; Invited Speaker at the Keystone Symposium, Invited Speaker at the 6th Basic Sciences Symposium of the Transplantation Society in Asilomar, CA., and Invited Speaker at the 32nd Annual Immunology Conference in Chicago. Other honors include: Northern California Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation Fellowship, Pfizer Medical Research Merit Award, ARA Senior Rheumatology Scholar Award, Giannini Foundation Medical Research Fellow and Teaching Recognition for Introduction to Clinical Medicine.
An active participant in many organizations, Field has been involved with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Immunologists, American College of Physicians, American College of Rheumatology, American Federation of Clinical Research, American Federal for Medical Research, American Society of Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics, American Society of Transplantation, American Society for Clinical Investigation, Central Society for Clinical Research, Clinical Immunology Society, Transplantation Society, and a Diplomate for both the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Internal Medicine.
In addition, she has written numerous articles for peer-reviewed publications and has a variety of ongoing research support work.