The Institute of Human Virology was co-founded by Dr. William A. Blattner, MD, director of the IHV's Epidemiology and Prevention Division and an internationally renowned authority on AIDS and the viral epidemiology of cancer. Since 1980, Dr. Blattner has pioneered studies of the epidemiology and prevention of the human retroviruses, HIV and HTLV.
His early studies helped to define the link of HIV to AIDS and its modes of transmission, as well as the first peer-reviewed publication of the sensitivity and specificity of the HIV blood test. He is senior author on the first paper demonstrating time to AIDS onset from infection, illustrating its high attack rate in the absence of treatment. He received the John Snow Award of the American Health Association in 2002 for his pioneering research.
Today, Dr. Blattner's research employs broad-based population and clinical research strategies to advance understanding of HIV pathogenesis, risk factors, and prevention, focusing on HIV preventative vaccines. He is director and Principal Investigator for the IHV Clinical Trials Unit, where his work focuses on accelerating the testing of HIV vaccine candidates and developing cohorts suitable for efficacy trials. In addition, he leads an affiliated IHV-Nigeria international program in West Africa, where he has received $49 million in federal grants from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to provide care and treatment, HIV testing, and prevention in Nigeria.
Launched in 2003, IHV-Nigeria integrates laboratory services and clinical care at regional centers across the large African nation, where it is estimated that 2.8 million people are infected with HIV. Using a comprehensive care model, IHV-Nigeria has provided antiretroviral medication more than 50,000 patients; with integrated laboratory and clinical services at 24 sites, over 220,000 Nigerians have been tested for HIV. With the goal of providing quality care and treatment in a sophisticated clinical care structure, while at the same time implementing the largest and most complex public health program ever attempted, IHV-Nigeria continues to implement innovative solutions to Nigeria's HIV/AIDS epidemic -- including mobile outreach units to reach the most-at-risk populations, mobile tuberculosis programs, and six regional virology labs with advanced laboratory techniques including polymerase chain reaction, genetic sequencing, and a Biological Safety Level 3 laboratory to address the problem of drug-resistant tuberculosis. The Nigeria program is partially modeled on IHV's HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs in Baltimore.
As Chairman of the Baltimore AIDS Commission, Dr. Blattner is also working in at home to raise public awareness and legislative change to confront the HIV epidemic in Baltimore City through better access to care, more testing and counseling, and improved prevention programs.
Dr. Blattner graduated from Washington University School of Medicine, interned at Strong Memorial Hospital, completed residencies at the New York Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute and did his oncology training at NCI in Bethesda. He joined the Environmental Epidemiology Branch of NCI in 1976 and served for over two decades, retiring in 1995 as founding Chief of the Viral Epidemiology Branch.
Blattner, W.A., Kalyanaraman, V.S., Robert-Guroff, M., Lister, T.A., Galton, D.A.G., Sarin, P.S., Crawford, M.H., Catovsky, D., Greaves, M. and Gallo, R.C. The human type-C retrovirus, HTLV, in blacks from the Caribbean region, and relationship to adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. Int J Cancer 30:257-264, 1982.
Weiss, S.H., Goedert, J.J., Sarngadharan, M.G., Bodner, A.J., The AIDS Seroepidemiology Collaborative Working Group, Gallo, R.C. and Blattner, W.A. Screening test for HTLV III (AIDS agent) antibodies: specificity, sensitivity, and applications. J Am Med Assoc 253:221 225, 1984
Goedert, J.J., Biggar, R.J., Weiss, S.H., Eyster, M.E., Melbye, M., Wilson, S., Ginzburg, H.M., Grossman, R.J., DiGioia, R.A., Sanchez, W.C., Giron, J., Ebbesen, P., Gallo, R.C. and Blattner, W.A. Three-year incidence of AIDS in five cohorts of HTLV-III-infected risk group members. Science 231:992-995, 1988
Weiss, S.H., Goedert, J.J., Gartner, S., Popovic, M., Waters, D., Markham, P., Veronese, F.D.M., Gail, M.H., Barkley, W.E., Gibbons, J., Gill, F.A., Leuther, M., Shaw, G.M., Gallo, R.C. and Blattner, W.A. Risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection among laboratory workers. Science 239:68-71, 1988.
Kaslow, R.A., Carrington, M., Apple, R., Park, L., Munoz, A., Saah, A.J., Goedert, J.J., Winkler, C., O'Brien, S.J., Rinaldo, C., Detels, R., Blattner, W.A., Phair, J., Erlich, H., and Mann, D.L. Influence of combinations of human major histocompatibility complex genes on the course of HIV-1 infection. Nat Med 2(4):405-411, 1996.
O'Brien, T.R., Blattner, W.A., Waters, D., Eyster, E., Hilgartner, M.W., Cohen, A.R., Luban, N., Hatzakis, A., Aledort, L.M., Rosenberg, P.S., Miley, W.J., Kroner, B.L., and Goedert, J.J., Serum HIV-1 RNA levels and time to development of AIDS in the Multicenter Hemophilia Cohort Study. J Am Med Assoc 276(2):105-110, 1996.
Figueroa, J.P., Ward, E., Morris, J., Brathwaite, A.R., Peruga, A., Blattner, W.A., Vermund, S.H., and Hayes, R. Incidence of HIV and HTLV-1 infection among sexually transmitted disease clinic attenders in Jamaica. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol 15(3):232-237, 1997.
Wiktor, S.Z., Pate, E.J., Rosenberg, P.S., Barnett, M., Palmer, P., Medeiros, D., Maloney, E.M., and Blattner, W.A. Mother-to-child transmission of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I associated with prolonged breast-feeding. J Hum Virol 1(1):37-44, 1997.
Cleghorn, F.R., Jack, N., Murphy, J.R., Edwards, J., Mahabir, B., Paul, R., O'Brien, T., Greenberg, M., Weinhold, K., Bartholomew, C., Brookmeyer, R., and Blattner, W.A. Direct and indirect estimates of HIV-1 incidence in a high-prevalence population. Am J Epidemiol 147:834-839, 1998.
Manns, A., Miley, W.J., Wilks, R.J., Morgan, O.S., Hanchard, B., Wharfe, G., Cranston, B., Maloney, E., Welles, S.L., Blattner, W.A., and Waters, D. Quantitative proviral DNA and antibody levels in the natural history of HTLV-I infection. J Infect Dis 180(5):1487-1493, 1999.
Garzino-Demo, A., Moss,, R.B., Margolick, J., Cleghorn, F.R., Sill, A., Blattner, W.A., Cocchi, F., Carlo, D.J., DeVico, A..L., Gallo, R.C. Spontaneous and antigen-induced production of HIV inhibitory B- chemokines are associated with AIDS-free status. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 96(21):11986-11991, 1999.
Cleghorn, F.R., Jack, N., Carr, J.K., Edwards, J., Mahabi, B., Sill, A., McDanal, C.B., Connolly, S.M., Goodman, D., Bennetts, R.Q., Oâ?TBrien, T.R., Weinhold, K.J., Bartholomew, C., Blattner, W.A., Greenberg, M.L. A distinctive Clade B Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) is heterosexually transmitted in Trinidad & Tobago. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 97(19):10532-10537, 2000.
Demarest JF, Jack N, Cleghorn FR, Greenberg ML, Hoffman TL, Ottinger JS, Fantry L, Edwards J, O'Brien TR, Cao K, Mahabir B, Blattner WA, Bartholomew C, Weinhold KJ. Immunologic and virologic analyses of an acutely HIV type 1-infected patient with extremely rapid disease progression. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 17(14):1333-44, 2001.
LaRussa P, Magder LS, Pitt J, Sill A, Hillyer G, Hollinger FB, Lew J, McIntosh K, Kufera J, Bremer J, Blattner W. Association of HIV-1 viral phenotype in the MT-2 assay with perinatal HIV transmission. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 30(1):88-94, 2002.
Cooper ER, Charurat M, Mofenson L, Hanson IC, Pitt J, Diaz C, Hayani K, Handelsman E, Smeriglio V, Hoff R, Blattner W. Combination antiretroviral strategies for the treatment of pregnant HIV-1-infected women and prevention of perinatal HIV-1 transmission. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 29(5):484-94, 2002.
Goedert JJ, Charurat M, Blattner WA, Hershow RC, Pitt J, Diaz C, Mofenson LM, Green K, Minkoff H, Paul ME, Thomas DL, Whitby D. Risk factors for Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus infection among HIV-1-infected pregnant women in the USA. AIDS, 17(3):425-33, 2003.
Tuomala RE, O'Driscoll PT, Bremer JW, Jennings C, Xu C, Read JS, Matzen E, Landay A, Zorrilla C, Blattner W, Charurat M, Anderson DJ. Cell-associated genital tract virus and vertica transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 in antiretroviral-experienced women. J Infect Dis, 187(3):375-84, 2003.
Constantine NT, Sill AM, Jack N, Kreisel K, Edwards J, Cafarella T, Smith H, Bartholomew C, Cleghorn FR, Blattner WA. Improved classification of recent HIV-1 infection by employing a two-stage sensitive/less- sensitive test strategy. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 32(1):94-103, 2003.
Poirier MC, Divi RL, Al Harthi L, Olivero OA, Nguyen V, Walker B, Landay AL, Walker VE, Charurat M, Blattner WA. Long-term mitochondrial toxicity in HIV-uninfected infants born to HIV-infected mothers. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr;33:175-83, 2003.
Blattner, W.A; Oursler,K.A.; Cleghorn F.R.; Charurat,M.; Sill,A.M.; Bartholomew,C.; Jack,N.; O'Brien T.R.; Edwards,J.; Tomaras,G.D.; Weinhold,K.; Greenberg,M. Rapid Viral Clearance Following Acute HIV-1 Infection: Correlates of AIDS Risk. J. Inf. Dis. 189 (10), 2004
Winchester R, Pitt J, Charurat M, Magder LS, Gahring HH, Landay A, Read JS, Shearer W, Handelsman E, Luzuriaga K, Hillyer GV, Blattner W. Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV-1: Strong Association With Certain Maternal HLA-B Alleles Independent of Viral Load Implicates Innate Immune Mechanisms. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 36(2):659-670, 2004.
Charurat M., Blattner WA, Hershow R., Buck A., Zorrilla C., Watts DH., Paul M., Landesman S, Adeniyi- Jones S, Tuomala R., for the Women and Infants Transmission Study. Changing Trends in Clinical AIDS Presentations and Survival among HIV-1-Infected Women. Journal of Women's Health 2004; 13:6, 711- 722.
Magder LS, Mofenson L, Paul ME, Zorrilla CD, Blattner WA, Tuomala RE, Larussa P, Landesman S, Rich KC. Risk Factors for In Utero and Intrapartum Transmission of HIV. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 38 (1) 87-95, 2005.
Goepfert PA, Horton H, McElrath MJ, Gurunathan S, Ferrari G, Tomaras GD, Montefiori DC, Allen M, Chiu Y-L, Spearman P, Fuchs JD, Koblin BA, Blattner WA, Frey S, Keefer MC, Baden LR, Corey L, and the NIAID HIV Vaccine Trials Network. High-dose recombinant Canarypox vaccine expressing HIV-1 protein, in seronegative human subjects. J Infect Dis. 2005 Oct 1;192(7):1249-59. Epub 2005 Aug 31.