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Robert C. Gallo, MD

Robert C. Gallo, MD

University of Maryland School of Medicine
Baltimore, Maryland

Class of 2014

Dr. Gallo is most widely known as co-discoverer of HIV, the cause of AIDS and developer of the HIV blood test. Dr. Gallo’s AIDS research aided colleagues in the development of HIV drug therapies. His discovery that a class of naturally occurring compounds known as chemokines can block HIV and halt the progression of AIDS was hailed as one of the most important scientific breakthroughs of 1996. It has influenced thinking on how HIV works against the human immune system and led to the use of chemokine antagonists or entry inhibitors in combination therapy for HIV infection.

Prior to his work on HIV/AIDS, Dr. Gallo was the first to identify human retroviruses and the only known leukemia-causing viruses, HTLV-1 and HTLV-2. In 1976, he and his colleagues discovered interleukin-2, one of the first cytokines and a growth regulating substance for T-cells necessary to study human retroviruses. Additionally, in 1986, he and his group discovered the first new human herpes virus in more than 25 years (HHV-6), which was later shown to cause an infantile disease known as roseola and currently is a strong suspect in the origin of some neurological diseases.

In 2011, Dr. Gallo co-founded the Global Virus Network, designed to respond rapidly to new or re-emerging viruses. He is also the cofounder and director of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV), which treats more than 500,000 HIV-positive patients in seven African and two Caribbean nations, and more than 5,000 HIV-positive Baltimoreans. Dr. Gallo and his colleagues at IHV are currently developing a promising HIV vaccine candidate, funded largely by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which will enter clinical trials in 2014.

Career Highlights

2010 Paul G. Rogers Medical Science Award, U.S. National Library of Medicine
2009 Dan David Prize, Dan David Foundation, Tel Aviv University
2000 Principe de Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, Spain
2001 The World Health Award from President Gorbachev, Vienna
1999 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, Paul Ehrlich Foundation
1998 Warren Alpert Foundation Award, Harvard Medical School
1989 Elected Member, Institute of Medicine
1988 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.
1988 Japan Prize for Science and Technology
1987 Canada Gairdner International Award
1986 Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award
1984 General Motors Cancer Research Prize
1983 American Cancer Society Medal of Honor Award
1982 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award
1963 MD, Thomas Jefferson University Medical College