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Sodroski To Deliver Hill Lecture, May 17

A pioneer in HIV/AIDS research will visit the NIH campus to present this year's James C. Hill Memorial Lecture. Dr. Joseph Sodroski, who has made many seminal discoveries about how HIV infects cells and causes disease, will present a lecture titled "The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1) Envelope Glycoproteins" on Friday, May 17 at 1 p.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10.

It is impossible to review the major publications in HIV research without seeing Sodroski's name figured prominently. An authority on the molecular biology of retroviruses, he has made major contributions to the study of HIV pathogenesis and has developed powerful tools to assist other researchers with their studies.

Dr. Joseph Sodroski

Sodroski, who is director of the Center for AIDS Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Children's Hospital in Boston, made his first major impact on HIV research when he and his coworkers discovered the key HIV regulatory proteins Tat and Rev. Those two proteins are critical molecular signals that govern HIV replication and have been the subject of extensive study since their discovery.

Sodroski's laboratory later conducted extensive research on the molecular interactions required for HIV to enter human cells. His team was the first to identify the CCR5 co-receptor on target cells, a discovery that changed the way researchers thought about HIV infection. His studies of the major HIV surface proteins, gp120 and gp41, have also revealed key aspects of how the virus attaches to cells and how the immune system might recognize the virus.

In addition to investigating the molecular underpinnings of HIV infection, he helped develop a valuable animal model of the disease. Using the related simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), he produced a hybrid virus called SHIV that combines the external components of HIV with SIV's internal genes and proteins. The resulting virus infects monkeys and has proved to be a valuable tool for studying HIV pathogenesis and vaccines in animals.

Sodroski received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and completed an internal medicine residency at New England Deaconess Hospital. In addition to his position at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, he serves as associate director of Harvard Medical School's division of AIDS and holds a joint appointment at Harvard School of Public Health.

The annual Dr. James C. Hill Memorial Lecture is dedicated to the memory of the former deputy director of NIAID, who helped build the institute's HIV/AIDS research program during the earliest years of the epidemic and was instrumental in educating the public and government officials on the emerging threat of AIDS.

A reception will be held immediately following the lecture in the Lipsett Amphitheater lobby. All are welcome to attend.

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