Co-Discoverer of HIV to Discuss Epidemics

A biomedical researcher best known for his co-discovery of HIV —the infectious agent responsible for AIDS — will give a public lecture at Nebraska Wesleyan University on Thursday, October 22.

Dr. Robert C. Gallo, Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, will speak on “Viruses, Epidemics and the Prospects For Their Control With Emphasis on HIV/AIDS.” The lecture begins at 7 p.m. at O’Donnell Auditorium, 50th Street and Huntington Ave.

Gallo and his co-workers opened and pioneered the field of human retrovirology when in 1980 they discovered the first human retrovirus and with others showed it was a cause of a particular form of human leukemia. A year later he and his group discovered the second known human retrovirus. Gallo and his colleagues also independently discovered HIV — the third known human retrovirus — and provided the first results to show that HIV was the cause of AIDS. They also developed the life saving HIV blood test, which remains a central tool in the efforts to control the disease.

Since 1996, Gallo has been Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. For 30 years prior, he was at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

Gallo was the most cited scientist in the world from 1980 to 1990, according to the Institute for Scientific Information, and was ranked third in the world for scientific impact for the period 1983 to 2002.

He has received numerous major scientific honors and awards including uniquely the most prestigious U.S. award, the Albert Lasker Prize awarded twice, the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor, the World Health Award from President Gorbachev, Harvard Medical School Warren Alpert Foundation Award, and Israel’s top prize, the Dan David Prize.

The lecture is free and open to the public.