Robert C. Gallo, M.D., became world famous in 1984 when the U.S. government announced that he had co-discovered the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to be the cause of AIDS. Little was known then of the mysterious illness that was fast becoming the deadliest epidemic in medical history. Dr. Gallo has spent the past two decades trying to solve one of humanity’s greatest scientific challenges.
Though best known for his co-discovery of HIV, Gallo and his team in the early 1980s also pioneered the development of the HIV blood test, which enabled health care workers for the first time to screen for the AIDS virus - 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. His discovery in 1996 that a natural compound known as chemokines can block the HIV virus and halt the progression of AIDS was hailed by Science magazine as one of that year's most important scientific breakthroughs.
Before the AIDS epidemic, Gallo was the first to identify a human retrovirus and the only known human leukemia virus - HTLV - one of few known viruses shown to cause a human cancer. In 1976, he and his colleagues discovered Interleukin-2, which is a growth-regulating substance now used as therapy in some cancers and sometimes AIDS. And in 1986, he and his group discovered the first new human herpes virus in more than 25 years (HHV-6), which was later shown to cause an infantile disease known as Roseola.
Today, Dr. Gallo's work continues at the Institute of Human Virology (IHV), an institute of the University of Maryland School of Medicine that Dr. Gallo helped found in 1996. IHV is a first-of-its-kind virology center that combines the disciplines of research, patient care and prevention programs in a concerted effort to speed the pace of progress.
Prior to becoming IHV director in 1996, Gallo spent 30 years at the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute, where he was head of its Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology. A Connecticut native, his interest in science and medicine was first stirred by the loss of his 6-year-old sister to leukemia when he was 13 years old. The physicians who cared for her made a lasting impression and helped Gallo decide to make scientific research - and the opportunity to help put an end to deadly diseases - his life's work.
Dr. Gallo’s research interests currently focus on the development of an effective HIV preventive vaccine and the development of innovative HIV therapies.
Gallo, RC. The Face of AIDS: Difficulties and Some Prospects in Development of a Successful HIV Preventive Vaccine. (IN: Perspectives on the Future of Science and Technology. The Genomics Revolution: Reshaping Vaccine Development and Delivery. United States Department of State. The European Commission). The American Society for Cell Biology, 2005, pages 137-146.
Gallo, RC. The discovery of the first human retrovirus: HTLV-1 and HTLV-2. Retrovirology 2005, 2:17 (2 March 2005).
Gallo, RC. The End or the Beginning of the Drive to an HIV Preventive Vaccine? A view from over 20 years. Lancet 2005: 366: 1894-98 (9500, November 26).
Gallo, RC. History of the discoveries of the first human retroviruses: HTLV-1 and HTLV-2. Oncogene 24, (2005) 5926-5930.
Popovic M. Tenner-Racz K, Pelser, C, Stellbring HJ, van Lunzen J, Lewis G, Kalyanaraman VS, Gallo RC, Racz P. Persistance of HIV-1 structural proteins and glycoproteins in lymph nodes of patients under highly active antiretroviral therapy. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 41:14807-12, 2005.
Gallo, RC. HIV/AIDS research after HAART. The Center for AIDS Information and Advocacy 11: Vol. 1, (2005) 39-41.
Gallo, RC. HIV: dark and light, then & now. Future Virology1(1): (2006) 1-3.
Gallo R.C. Challenges and Promises in Biomedical Science's Fight Against HIV & AIDS. 2005 Newsweek. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10206252/site/newsweek/)
Trujillo, J. Roberto, Jaramillo-Rangel, Gilberto, Ortega-Martinez, Marta, Penalva de Oliveira, Augusto, Vidal, Jose E, Bryant, Joseph and Gallo, RC. International NeuroAIDS: prospects of HIV-1 associated neurological complications. Cell Research, 15(11-12):962-69 (Nov-Dec 2005)
Heredia A., Davis C., Bamba D., Le N., Gwarzo, MY, Sadowska M., Gallo RC, and Redfield RR. Indirubin-3-monoxime, a derivative of a Chinese antileukemia medicine, inhibits P-TEFb funcation and HIV-l replication. AIDS 2005, 19:2087-2095.
Gallo RC. Tackling HIV/AIDS: more scientific truth, less bureaucracy. Lancet 2005. 366-1841-42.
Gallo RC. Commentary remarks on “HIV/AIDS in China”. Cell Res. 2005 Nov-Dec;15(11-12):823.
Gilliam BL, Redfield R, Zhao RY, Gallo RC. Commentary on “Prevalence and evolution of drug resistance HIV-1 variants in Henan, China”. Cell Res. 2005 Nov-Dec;15(11-12):850-851.
Gallo RC, Reitz, MS, Jr. Tumor Viruses. In: Kufe, DW, Bast, RC, Jr., Hait, WN, Hong, WK, Pollock, RE, Weichselbaum, RR, Holland, JF and Frei, E, III. (Eds): Cancer Medicine. 2006, vol. 7, Chapter 19,pp. 297-309.
Kish-Catalone TM, Lu W, Gallo, RC, DeVico AL. Preclinical evaluation of synthetic -2 RANTES as a candidate vaginal microbicide to target CCR5. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2006, vol. 50(4). 1497-509.
Buonaguro L, Tornesello ML, Tagliamonte M, Gallo RC, Wang L-X, Kamin-Lewis R, Abdelwahab S, Lewis GK and Buonaguro FM. Baculovirus-Derived Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Virus-Like Particles Activate Dendritic Cells and Induce Ex Vivo T-Cell Responses. J. Virology, 18:9134-9143, 2006.
Gallo RC. A Reflection on HIV/AIDS Research after 25 Years. Retrovirology, 3:72, 2006.
Ahuja SK, Aiuti F, Berkhout B, Biberfeld P, Burton DR, Colizzi V, Deeks SG, Desrosiers RC, Dierich MP, Doms RW, Emerman M, Gallo RC, Girard M, Greene WC, Hoxie JA, Hunter E, Klein G, Korber B, Kuritzkes DR, Lederman MM, Malim MH, Marx PA, McCune JM, McMichael A, Miller C, Miller V, Montagniere L, Montefiori DC, Moore JP, Nixon DF, Overbaugh J, Pauza CD, Richamn DD, Saag M, Sattentau Q, Schooley RT, Shattock R, Shaw GM, Stevenson M, Trkola A, Wainberg MA, Weiss RA, Wolinsky S, Zack JA. A Plea for Justice for Jailed Medical Workers. Science. 314(5801);924-5, 2006.
Gallo RC. Bringing basic science back to centre stage to fight HIV/AIDS. In Beck, EJ, Mays, N, Whiteside,AW, Zuniga, JM. (Eds.) The HIV Pandemic: Local and Global Implications. Lancet, 368;1861-62, 2006
Gallo RC. A brief history of AIDS. studentBMJ, 14:441-484, 2006.
Gallo RC. A perspective on human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6). J. Clinical Virology, vol. 37, Suppl. 1, p. S2, 2006.
Lusso P, Crowley RW, Malnati MS, Ponzoni M, Di Serio C, Biancotto A, Markham PD, Gallo RC. Accelerated progression to AIDS in macaques coinfected with simian immunodeficiency virus and human herpesvirus 6A. Retrovirology, 3Suppl. 1:S62, 2006.
Lusso P, Crowley RW, Malnati MS, De Serio C, Ponzoni M, Biancotto A, Markham PD, and Gallo RC. HHV-6A Accelerates AIDS Progression in Macaques. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. (on-line), 2007.
Rad FH, Le Buanec H, Paturance S, Larcier P, Genne P, Ryffel B, Bensussan A, Bizzini B, Gallo, RC, Zagury D, Uzan G. VEGF kinoid vaccine, a therapeutic approach against tumor angiogenesis and metastases. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, vo1. 104, No. 8, pp. 2837-42, 2007.