Newswise — Ruth M. Ruprecht, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, has been appointed to the position of Scientist and Director of the AIDS Research Program in the Department of Virology and Immunology at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute.
“We are thrilled that she will be joining us,” said Jean L. Patterson, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Virology and Immunology.
“Dr. Ruprecht is a pioneer in developing novel and creative strategies for a vaccine against AIDS, and for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV,” said John VandeBerg, Ph.D., Texas Biomed’s chief scientific officer. “She has established monkey models for pursuing these research initiatives, and she will continue to use those models after she moves here to the Department of Virology and Immunology and the Southwest National Primate Research Center.”
Ruprecht directs a multi-institutional AIDS research program that involves collaborators in the United States, Europe, and Africa. Her expertise is in AIDS vaccine development and in diseases caused by so-called ‘slow’ viruses because they can remain inactive for several years.
She has served as consultant for the World Health Organization and the China Comprehensive International Program for Research on AIDS, as a member of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) AIDS Research Advisory Committee and the NIAID Council, and as the US Chair of the US-Japan AIDS Panel. She is a member of several scientific advisory boards, including the National Cancer Institute’s Vaccine Branch and the China Centers for Disease Control.
"We have discovered a new mechanism by which certain antibodies can prevent AIDS virus infection in monkeys,” Ruprecht said. “Joining Texas Biomed gives my group a wonderful opportunity to collaborate closely with experts in primate medicine at the Southwest National Primate Research Center. Together, we can really accelerate progress."
After studying chemistry at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, Ruprecht received a Ph.D. in human genetics from Columbia University in New York, and an M.D. from the University of Miami School of Medicine. She completed training in internal medicine at UCLA and in hematology/oncology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. In 1984, she joined the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston. In 2001, she received an Honorary Professorship from the Institute of Medical Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, in Kunming in the People’s Republic of China.
Ruprecht’s research has been published in many high profile journals, including Science, Nature, Nature Medicine and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In addition to her position at Texas Biomed, Ruprecht also will establish a laboratory in breast cancer research at UT Health Science Center San Antonio.
Texas Biomed, formerly the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, is one of the world's leading independent biomedical research institutions dedicated to advancing global human health through innovative biomedical research. Located on a 200-acre campus on the northwest side of San Antonio, Texas, the Institute partners with hundreds of researchers and institutions around the world, targeting advances in the fight against emerging infectious diseases, AIDS, hepatitis, malaria, parasitic infections and a host of other diseases, as well as cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, obesity, cancer, psychiatric disorders, and problems of pregnancy. For more information on Texas Biomed, go to www.TxBiomed.org, or call Joe Carey, Texas Biomed’s Vice President for Public Affairs, at 210-258-9437.