Richard Hotchkiss has been instrumental in reshaping the current understanding of the pathophysiology of sepsis. His seminal studies conducted on septic patients who died in the ICU demonstrated for the first time the key role of apoptosis in death of immune effector cells and gastrointestinal epithelial cells. His laboratory has been at the forefront in identifying mechanisms of immunosuppression in sepsis and in developing new immuno-adjuvant therapies for the disorder. His work and leadership were essential in the initiation of two new multi-center clinical trials in sepsis testing the immuno-adjuvants anti-programmed cell death ligand 1 and interleukin-7. His research has been continuously funded by the NIH for over 25 years including an NIH MERIT award. In recognition to his important contributions to the field, he received the Distinguished Investigator Award from Washington University School of Medicine in 2008 and the Scientific Achievement Award from the Shock Society in 2012.