Skip to main content

Robert C. Gallo, MD

Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:


Secondary Appointment(s):

Microbiology and Immunology

Additional Title:

Co-Founder & Scientific Leadership Board, Global Virus Network (GVN); Head, Director’s Laboratory, Division of Virology, Pathogenesis, and Cancer, Institute of Human Virology (IHV)


IHV, 725 W Lombard St.

Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-8614


(410) 706-1952

Education and Training

  • Providence College, BA, Biology, 1959
  • Jefferson Medical College, MD, 1963
  • Clinical Clerkship, Yale University School of Medicine, 1963
  • Residency, University of Chicago, 1965


Dr. Gallo is recognized internationally for his co-discovery of HIV as the cause of AIDS. As a biomedical research scientist, he since has spent much of his career working to eliminate AIDS and other viral chronic diseases. In the early 1980s, Gallo and his team also pioneered the development of the HIV blood test, which enabled healthcare labors to screen for the AIDS virus for the first time, leading to a more rapid diagnosis while simultaneously protecting patients receiving blood transfusions. His research also helped physicians develop HIV therapies to prolong the lives of those infected with the virus. His 1996 discovery that a natural compound known as chemokines can block the HIV virus and halt the progression of AIDS was hailed by Science magazine as one of that year's most important scientific breakthroughs.

Before the AIDS epidemic, Gallo was the first to identify a human retrovirus and the only known human leukemia virus—HTLV—one of few known viruses shown to cause a human cancer. In 1976, he and his colleagues discovered Interleukin-2, which is a growth-regulating substance now used as therapy in some cancers and even AIDS. Then in 1986, he and his group discovered the first new human herpes virus in more than 25 years (HHV-6), which was later shown to cause an infantile disease known as Roseola.

Today, Dr. Gallo's work continues at the Institute of Human Virology (IHV), an institute of the University of Maryland School of Medicine that Dr. Gallo helped found in 1996. IHV is the first virology center of its kind, combining the disciplines of research, patient care and prevention programs in a concerted effort to speed the pace of progress. In 2011, Gallo co-founded the Global Virus Network to position the world to rapidly respond to new or re-emerging viruses that threaten mankind, to achieve collaboration among the world’s leading virologists, and to support next-generation training.

Prior to becoming IHV director in 1996, Gallo spent 30 years at the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute, where he was head of its Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology. Dr. Gallo has received numerous scientific honors and awards from around the world, holds 35 honorary doctorates, and has published nearly 1,200 papers.

Dr. Gallo was the most referenced scientist in the world in the 1980s and 1990s, during which time he had the unique distinction of twice winning America’s most prestigious scientific award—the Albert Lasker Award in Medicine - in 1982 and 1986. He was ranked third in the world for scientific impact for the period 1983-2002 (PNAS, November 15, 2005, vol102, no.46, 6569-16572).

Research/Clinical Keywords

HIV Virus, HIV prevention, HIV Vaccine, Innovative HIV Therapies, Human T cell Leukemia Virus/HTLV, Human Retroviruses, Viral Oncology

Highlighted Publications

Poiesz, B.J., Ruscetti, F.W., Gazdar, A.F., Bunn, P.A., Minna, J.D., and Gallo, R.C.: Detection and isolation of type C retrovirus particles from fresh and cultured lymphocytes of a patient with cutaneous T cell lymphoma. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 77: 7415-7419, 1980.

Morgan, D.A., Ruscetti, F.W., and Gallo, R.C.: Selective in vitro growth of T lymphocytes from normal human bone marrows. Science 193: 1007-1008, 1976.

Poiesz, B.J., Ruscetti, F.W., Gazdar, A.F., Bunn, P.A., Minna, J.D., and Gallo, R.C.:  Detection and isolation of type C retrovirus particles from fresh and cultured lymphocytes of a patient with cutaneous T cell lymphoma. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 77: 7415-7419, 1980.

Kalyanaraman, V.S., Sarngadharan, M.G., Robert Guroff, M., Miyoshi, I., Blayney, D., Golde, D., and Gallo, R.C.:  A new subtype of human T cell leukemia virus (HTLV II) associated with a T cell variant of hairy cell leukemia. Science 218: 571 573, 1982.

Gallo, R.C., Salahuddin, S.Z., Popovic, M., Shearer, G.M., Kaplan, M., Haynes, B.F., Palker, T.J., Redfield, R., Oleske, J., Safai, B., White, G., Foster, P., and Markham, P.D.: Frequent detection and isolation of cytopathic retroviruses (HTLV III) from patients with AIDS and at risk for AIDS.  Science 224: 500 503, 1984.

Sarngadharan, M.G., Popovic, M., Bruch, L., Schupbach, J., and Gallo, R.C.: Antibodies reactive with human T lymphotropic retroviruses (HTLV III) in the serum of patients with AIDS. Science 224: 506 508, 1984.

Additional Publication Citations

Gallo, RC. The Face of AIDS:  Difficulties and Some Prospects in Development of a Successful HIV Preventive Vaccine. (IN: Perspectives on the Future of Science and Technology. The Genomics Revolution: Reshaping Vaccine Development and Delivery.  United States Department of State. The European Commission). The American Society for Cell Biology, 2005, pages 137-146.

Gallo, RC. The discovery of the first human retrovirus: HTLV-1 and HTLV-2. Retrovirology 2005, 2:17 (2 March 2005).

Gallo, RC. The End or the Beginning of the Drive to an HIV Preventive Vaccine?  A view from over 20 years.  Lancet 2005: 366: 1894-98 (9500, November 26).

Gallo, RC. History of the discoveries of the first human retroviruses: HTLV-1 and HTLV-2. Oncogene 24, (2005) 5926-5930.

Popovic M. Tenner-Racz K, Pelser, C, Stellbring HJ, van Lunzen J, Lewis G, Kalyanaraman VS, Gallo RC, Racz P. Persistance of HIV-1 structural proteins and glycoproteins in lymph nodes of patients under highly active antiretroviral therapy. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 41:14807-12, 2005.

Gallo, RC. HIV/AIDS research after HAART. The Center for AIDS Information and Advocacy 11:  Vol. 1, (2005) 39-41.

Gallo, RC. HIV:  dark and light, then & now. Future Virology1(1): (2006) 1-3.

Gallo R.C. Challenges and Promises in Biomedical Science's Fight Against HIV & AIDS. 2005 Newsweek.

Trujillo, J. Roberto, Jaramillo-Rangel, Gilberto, Ortega-Martinez, Marta, Penalva de Oliveira, Augusto, Vidal, Jose E, Bryant, Joseph andGallo, RC. International NeuroAIDS: prospects of HIV-1 associated neurological complications.  Cell Research, 15(11-12):962-69 (Nov-Dec 2005)

Heredia A., Davis C., Bamba D., Le N., Gwarzo, MY, Sadowska M., Gallo RC, and Redfield RR. Indirubin-3-monoxime, a derivative of a Chinese antileukemia medicine, inhibits P-TEFb funcation and HIV-l replication. AIDS 2005, 19:2087-2095.

Gallo RC. Tackling HIV/AIDS: more scientific truth, less bureaucracy. Lancet 2005. 366-1841-42.

Gallo RC. Commentary remarks on “HIV/AIDS in China”. Cell Res. 2005 Nov-Dec;15(11-12):823.

Gilliam BL, Redfield R, Zhao RY, Gallo RC. Commentary on “Prevalence and evolution of drug resistance HIV-1 variants in Henan, China”. Cell Res. 2005 Nov-Dec;15(11-12):850-851.

Gallo RC, Reitz, MS, Jr. Tumor Viruses. In: Kufe, DW, Bast, RC, Jr., Hait, WN, Hong, WK, Pollock, RE, Weichselbaum, RR, Holland, JF and Frei, E, III. (Eds): Cancer Medicine. 2006, vol. 7, Chapter 19,pp. 297-309.

Kish-Catalone TM, Lu W, Gallo, RC, DeVico AL. Preclinical evaluation of synthetic -2 RANTES as a candidate vaginal microbicide to target CCR5. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2006, vol. 50(4). 1497-509.

Buonaguro L, Tornesello ML, Tagliamonte M, Gallo RC, Wang L-X, Kamin-Lewis R, Abdelwahab S, Lewis GK and Buonaguro FM. Baculovirus-Derived Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Virus-Like Particles Activate Dendritic Cells and Induce Ex Vivo T-Cell Responses. J. Virology, 18:9134-9143, 2006.

Gallo RC. A Reflection on HIV/AIDS Research after 25 Years. Retrovirology, 3:72, 2006.

Ahuja SK, Aiuti F, Berkhout B, Biberfeld P, Burton DR, Colizzi V, Deeks SG, Desrosiers RC, Dierich MP, Doms RW, Emerman M, Gallo RC, Girard M, Greene WC, Hoxie JA, Hunter E, Klein G, Korber B, Kuritzkes DR, Lederman MM, Malim MH, Marx PA, McCune JM, McMichael A, Miller C, Miller V, Montagniere L, Montefiori DC, Moore JP, Nixon DF, Overbaugh J, Pauza CD, Richamn DD, Saag M, Sattentau Q, Schooley RT, Shattock R, Shaw GM, Stevenson M, Trkola A, Wainberg MA, Weiss RA, Wolinsky S, Zack JA. A Plea for Justice for Jailed Medical Workers. Science. 314(5801);924-5, 2006.

Gallo RC. Bringing basic science back to centre stage to fight HIV/AIDS. In Beck, EJ, Mays, N, Whiteside,AW, Zuniga, JM. (Eds.) The HIV Pandemic: Local and Global Implications. Lancet, 368;1861-62, 2006

Gallo RC. A brief history of AIDS. studentBMJ, 14:441-484, 2006. 

Gallo RC. A perspective on human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6).  J. Clinical Virology, vol. 37, Suppl. 1, p. S2, 2006.

Lusso P, Crowley RW, Malnati MS, Ponzoni M, Di Serio C, Biancotto A, Markham PD, Gallo RC. Accelerated progression to AIDS in macaques coinfected with simian immunodeficiency virus and human herpesvirus 6A. Retrovirology, 3Suppl. 1:S62, 2006.

Lusso P, Crowley RW, Malnati MS, De Serio C, Ponzoni M, Biancotto A, Markham PD, and Gallo RC. HHV-6A Accelerates AIDS Progression in Macaques. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. (on-line), 2007.

Rad FH, Le Buanec H, Paturance S, Larcier P, Genne P, Ryffel B, Bensussan A, Bizzini B, Gallo, RC, Zagury D, Uzan G. VEGF kinoid vaccine, a therapeutic approach against tumor angiogenesis and metastases. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, vo1. 104, No. 8, pp. 2837-42, 2007.

Awards and Affiliations

  • Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, 1982
  • Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award, 1986
  • General Motors Cancer Research Prize, 1984
  • American Cancer Society Medal of Honor Award, 1983
  • The Tata Memorial Centre’s Birla International Award (India), 1986
  • Gairdner Foundation International Award (Canada), 1987
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences, 1987
  • Member, National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), 1988
  • The Japan Prize of Science and Technology, 1988
  • Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize (Germany), 1999
  • Principe de Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research (Spain), 2000
  • The Dan David Prize (Israel), 2009

Previous Positions

National Institutes of Health

  • 1965-1968 - Clinical Associate, Medicine Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 1968-1969 - Senior Investigator, Human Tumor Cell Biology Branch, National Cancer Institute
  • 1969-1972 - Head, Section on Cellular Control Mechanisms, Human Tumor Cell Biology Branch, National Cancer Institute
  • 1972-1995 - Chief, Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute