Institute of Human Virology
Director: Robert C. Gallo, MD
The Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine focuses on chronic viral diseases, most notably HIV/AIDS, and virally linked cancers. IHV is dedicated to fundamental and clinical research leading to improved treatment and prevention of these diseases. IHV serves the global scientific community and treats patients at clinics in Maryland, across Africa and in the Caribbean.
Professor, Department of Medicine
Formed in 1996, IHV is home to some of the most globally recognized and world-renowned experts in all of virology, including its director, Dr. Robert C. Gallo, who co-discovered HIV as the cause of AIDS and developed the first HIV blood test, as well as associate directors, Dr. Robert R. Redfield and Dr. William A. Blattner.
The institute was conceived not just as a large laboratory, basic research institute or patient care facility. Rather it is all of the above, housed in a 100,000-square-foot building located adjacent to the University of Maryland Medical Center. With its unique organizational structure, IHV has created an environment where multidisciplinary research, education and clinical programs work closely together to expedite the scientific understanding of HIV/AIDS pathogenesis and to develop therapeutic interventions to make AIDS and virally-caused cancers manageable, if not curable, diseases.
Research programs at IHV focus on mechanisms controlling antibody responses to viruses and the development of vaccines against HIV. Studies on cellular immunity, including innate and acquired T-cell responses, along with research on chemokines, defensins and their roles in viral immunity, enlarge understanding of the host pathogen interactions for HIV. Nonhuman primate models and clinical studies with volunteers from IHV's treatment clinical populations provide outstanding access to materials for exploring the pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of HIV in humans or SIV in macaques.
Structural biology and glycopeptide chemistry expertise at IHV contributes new approaches to vaccine design or produces novel materials for biological studies. In addition to research on HIV, institute members study the human T-cell leukemia viruses to understand the mechanisms for leukomegenesis, human herpes virus 8 to understand its transforming potential, the West African hemorrhagic fever virus Lassa to define the disease mechanisms and develop preventive vaccines, and Hepatitis C virus to develop better therapy approaches in HIV/HCV dually infected individuals.
IHV is divided into four major divisions: Basic Science and Vaccine Research; Clinical Care and Research; Epidemiology and Prevention; and Animal Models.