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Robert C. Gallo, M.D. will speak about his past and present work, focusing on how earlier studies and discoveries laid the groundwork for subsequent advances in HIV/AIDS. He will highlight the importance of HIV prevention and discuss challenges and prospects related to HIV vaccine development.
Gallo has been the Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine since 1996. Before that, he spent 30 years at the National Cancer Institute, where he was head of the Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology. Gallo’s legendary research career has led to major diagnostic and therapeutic advances in cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other viral disorders.
Gallo is most famous for co-discovering HIV as the cause of AIDS and developing a life-saving HIV blood test in the early 1980s. Prior to the AIDS epidemic, he discovered the first retrovirus in humans, which has been implicated in several diseases. He and his colleagues also discovered interleukin-2, a growth regulating substance that enables scientists to grow human T-cells in the laboratory and that is now used as a therapy for certain cancers.