Retroviruses in Cancer and AIDS

Retroviruses in Cancer and AIDS


Robert Gallo


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(This information was taken from the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series Program 1989-1990).

Robert Gallo is one of the foremost virologists in the United States and is a leader in Cancer and AIDS research. Robert Gallo was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, received his B.S. from Providence College in 1959, and was awarded an M.D. by Jefferson Medical College in 1963. After serving as an intern and resident in medicine at the University of Chicago, Dr. Gallo moved to the National Cancer Institute, where he has been a clinical associate at the Medical Branch, a senior investigator and head of the section on cellular control mechanisms of the Human Tumor Cell Biology Branch, and is now Chief of the Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology. Dr. Gallo has served as adjunct professor of genetics at George Washington University, and adjunct professor of microbiology atCornell University. In1981 he represented the United States at the conference of the International Comparative Leukemiand Lymphoma Association. Dr. Gallo has served on the board of governors of the Franco-American AIDS Foundation and the World AIDS Foundation. Dr. Gallo received an honorary D.Sc. from his alma mater. Providence College, in 1974, the same year he was the recipient of the Dameshek Award of the American Hematology Society. He received the F. Stahlman Lecture Award in 1979. In 1983, he was given the Griffuel Prize by the Association for Cancer Research in France, and was recognized by the American Society of Infectious Disease in 1986. Dr. Gallo was also given the 1988 Japan Prize in Preventative Medicine.

His Work: Early work on the nucleic acid metabolism of normal and leukemic white blood cells led Dr: Gallo to studies of a reverse transcriptase in human leukemicells and thence to the reverse transcriptases ofthe various retroviruses. many of which were known to cause cancer in animals. In 1980 he isolated the first human retrovirus. T-celleukemia virus type I (HTLV-I). and in 1983 he predicted that the newly-defined disease called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) would be found to be caused by a retrovirus. The hypothesis was confirmed with the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that same year in France by Luc Montagnier and in his own lab in 1984.



Creation Date

April 7, 1990

Retroviruses in Cancer and AIDS