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2000 Distinguished Research Career Award

The 2000 Distinguished Research Career Awardee is Dr. Jerome A. Zack. Associate Professor, UCLA School of Medicine, and Associate Director for Basic Sciences, UCLA AIDS Institute, Los Angeles, California. Since 1988, Dr. Zack has made seminal contributions to understanding the pathogenic processes of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) infection and interaction of HIV with the immune system. Dr. Zack has developed the SCID-hu mouse model as an important in vivo model that is alternative to traditional in vitro approaches for investigating HIV-induced pathogenesis and therapeutic strategies. In other studies, Dr. Zack discovered that HIV enters quiescent primary lymphoctyes and forms a labile, latent viral structure. This was a surprising finding and further characterization has revealed that incompletely reverse transcribed HIV genomes require progression to the G1B phase of the cell cycle for completion. These contributions have important implications for understanding HIV pathogenesis, and implementing therapeutic strategies including gene therapy, immune reconstitution following pharmacologic treatment, and the generation of viral latency during thymopoiesis.