Newswise — Bethesda, MD – Dr. Robert C. Gallo, the Homer and Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, director and co-founder of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the co-Founder and International Scientific Advisor of the Global Virus Network, presented “From T Cells and Human Retroviruses to the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic and Innate Immunity” as the 2021 David Packard Award Lecturer at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), Monday, March 22.
Gallo is internationally recognized for his co-discovery of HIV as the cause of AIDS. As a biomedical research scientist, he since has spent much of his career working to eliminate AIDS and other viral chronic diseases. In the early 1980s, Gallo and his team also pioneered the development of the HIV blood test, which enabled healthcare labors to screen for the AIDS virus for the first time, leading to a more rapid diagnosis while simultaneously protecting patients receiving blood transfusions. His research also helped physicians develop HIV therapies to prolong the lives of those infected with the virus.
Prior to becoming IHV director in 1996, Gallo spent 30 years at the National Institute of Health’s National Cancer Institute, where he was head of its Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology. He has received numerous scientific honors and awards from around the world, holds 35 honorary doctorates, and has published nearly 1,200 papers.
The annual lecture was established by the University’s faculty senate in honor of Hewlett-Packard cofounder David Packard, who served as Deputy Secretary of Defense and USU’s second president in the 1970s. Previous Packard Award Lecturers include Nobel Laureate Dr. Stanley Prusiner and NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, among many other distinguished scholars and scientists.
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The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, founded by an act of Congress in 1972, is the nation’s federal health sciences university and the academic heart of the Military Health System. USU students are primarily active duty uniformed officers in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Public Health Service who receive specialized education in tropical and infectious diseases, TBI and PTSD, disaster response and humanitarian assistance, global health, and acute trauma care. USU also has graduate programs in oral biology, biomedical sciences and public health committed to excellence in research. The University's research program covers a wide range of areas important to both the military and public health. For more information about USU and its programs, visit www.usuhs.edu.