HIV Co-discoverer Dr. Robert Gallo at Gustavus Posted on March 16th, 2006 by

Dr. Robert Gallo, recognized for the co-discovery of the HIV virus as the cause of AIDS, presented “The Story of a Modern Plague: HIV and AIDS — Part 1: The Beginning” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 22 in Wallenberg Auditorium in Gustavus Adolphus College’s Nobel Hall of Science. This free, public lecture was part of Gallo’s residency through the Rydell Distinguished Professorship at Gustavus funded by the Drs. Robert E. and Susan T. Rydell. This lecture was the first of three public lectures he will deliver on campus this spring.

Gallo is director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland since 1996 and previously served at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., for 30 years. His professional interests have focused on the study of the basic biology of human blood cells, their normal and abnormal growth, and the causes of abnormal growth related to leukemia, insufficiency, or immune deficiencies.

The lecture focused on the origin, evolution, and major biological features of the HIV virus; the timing of the AIDS outbreak in 1981 from the standpoint of recent scientific advances in molecular biology and immunology, and the overconfidence and complacency of society and medical science in industrialized countries.

Gallo has twice served as a presenter at the College’s Nobel Conference, first in 1992 on the topic of “Immunity: The Battle Within” and again for “Virus: The Human Connection” in 1998.

As part of the residency, Gallo is also co-teaching a course, “The Biology of Viruses,” with Gustavus Associate Professor of Biology John Lammert. Numerous opportunities will be provided for students to meet with Gallo during his visits to campus.

His lecture, “The Story of a Modern Plague: HIV and AIDS — Part 2: The Scientific and Social Response,” is scheduled for April 18. Gallo will also keynote this year’s MAYDAY! Peace Conference on April 19 with “HIV/AIDS: Understanding One of the Greatest Pandemics of All Time.”

The Rydell Distinguished Professorship at Gustavus is a scholar-in-residence program designed to bring Nobel laureates and similarly distinguished scholars to the campus as catalysts for enhancing learning and teaching. It was established in 1995 by Drs. Robert E. and Susan T. Rydell of Minnetonka, Minn., to give students the opportunity to learn from and interact with leading scholars.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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