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To Mark World AIDS Day, Institute of Human Virology Releases Video on Dr. Robert Gallo

November 29, 2017

Dr. Robert C. Gallo

Video Provides Unique Perspective on the Life of a Legendary Scientist

The Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) released a video on Dr. Robert Gallo, a trailblazer in HIV research, in advance of World AIDS Day,  December 1.  While many know Dr. ‌‌Gallo for his pioneering work in AIDS research, the short video focuses on Dr. Gallo’s life and legacy in its entirety, including his pioneering discovery of human retroviruses.

Dr. Gallo is The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine and Co-founder & Director of the Institute of Human Virology at UMSOM, as well as co-founder & scientific director of the Global Virus Network (GVN).

This past year, Dr. Gallo turned eighty years old on March 23, 2017. While most researchers his age are enjoying retirement, Dr. Gallo is still working to better the human condition through advances in biomedical research.

He began his career by fighting the established orthodoxy to prove that retroviruses exist in humans, and was the first to identify a human retrovirus – human T cell leukemia virus, among the first viruses known to directly cause any human cancer and the only virus known to cause leukemia. This led the way to his most famous accomplishment: he co-discovered that HIV is the cause of AIDS, went on to develop the HIV blood test, and first reported many of the characteristics of HIV with his colleagues.

Dr. ‌‌Gallo continues to search for answers to mysteries that have vexed him for decades, including overseeing several ongoing studies such as an HIV vaccine trial in humans and discovering new causes of human disease.

In 1996, Dr. Gallo co-founded the IHV with colleagues Dr. Robert Redfield, The Robert C. Gallo, MD Endowed Professorship in Translational Medicine, Associate Director, Director of the Division of Clinical Care and Research, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine and Dr. William Blattner, who is retired since January 2016 and a Member of the IHV Board of Advisors.

Since its founding, the Baltimore-based Institute faculty and staff have grown from 50 to more than 300, and the Institute's patient base has grown from just 200 patients to currently nearly 20,000 in Baltimore and Washington, DC, and more than 1,000,000 in 10 African and 2 Caribbean nations since 2004.  IHV is also internationally renowned for its basic science research, which includes the search for a functional HIV “cure” and a promising preventive HIV vaccine funded largely by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and, in part, by others especially the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

In 2011, Dr. Gallo co-founded the Global Virus Network (GVN) alongside his colleagues, Dr. William Hall of University College Dublin and the late Dr. Reinhard Kurth of the Robert Koch Institut.  The GVN is an international coalition of the world’s foremost medical virologists, comprising 40 Centers of Excellence in 24 countries, dedicated to identifying and researching, combatting and preventing, current and emerging pandemic viruses that pose a critical threat to public health and well-being.

Video: Dr. Robert Gallo: Six Decades in Science

The video, “‌Gallo,” can be found at


Dr. Gallo is pictured with his mother and father, and his sister, Judy,
who died of leukemia when she was 6 years old and he was 12 years old.

Dr. Gallo met his wife, Mary Jane, in high school in their hometown
of Waterbury, Connecticut.

 Dr. Gallo, pictured in the mid 1980’s, was at the National Cancer
Institute for 30 years prior to co-founding the Institute of Human
Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1996.


 Dr. Gallo is pictured with colleagues in the 1980’s at the
National Cancer Institute.

In 1996, Dr. Robert Redfield (formerly of The Walter Reed Army
Medical Center) and Drs. William Blattner and Robert Gallo
(both formerly of the National Cancer Institute) co-founded the
IHV, which is the first center in the US - perhaps the world.

Dr. Gallo visits officials in Nigeria while supporting the work of
the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria.


Institute of Human Virology
Jennifer Gonzales
Public Relations & Communications Manager

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