Dr. James C. Allen Lecture


Please check back soon for the Live Zoom link
Monday, October 17, 2022, 4:00-5:00 pm EDT

Dr. Richard Whitley is pictured from the shoulders up. He is wearing glasses and a blue and black checkered shirt

2022 Lecture: Herpes Simplex Virus: From Encephalitis to Gene Therapy

Honored Speaker: Richard Whitley, MD, Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics; Professor of Microbiology, Medicine, and Neurosurgery; Co-Director, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Alabama at Birmingham 

Richard Whitley, M.D., is a Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, Professor of Microbiology, Medicine and Neurosurgery; Loeb Eminent Scholar Chair in Pediatrics; Co-Director, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases; Vice-Chair, Department of Pediatrics; Senior Scientist, Department of Gene Therapy; Scientist, Cancer Research and Training Center; Faculty, Gene Therapy Center; Senior Advisor for Drug Discovery and Development and Senior Leader, Pediatric Oncology Program, O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB; and Co-Founder and Co-Director, Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance.

Whitley is responsible for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Collaborative Antiviral Study Group whose role is to perform clinical trials of antiviral therapies directed against medically important viral diseases of children and adults including viruses considered as threats to human health. Whitley’s other research interest is in the translation of molecular biology to clinical application, particularly in the development of human monoclonal antibodies for therapy of herpesvirus infections and engineering of herpes simplex virus for gene therapy. In these latter studies, he and his colleagues have engineered herpes simplex virus to serve as a vector for foreign gene expression.

He received his B.A. in chemistry from Duke University and his M.D. from the George Washington University. He subsequently completed an internship in pediatrics and a fellowship in infectious diseases/virology at UAB. He has published more than 347 articles. He participates in numerous Data Safety and Monitoring Boards for ongoing clinical studies. He is a past President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and received the UAB President’s Medal in 2007. In 2013, he was named as the inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Clinical Research Scholar and Educator in Residence at the NIH Clinical Center.

2018 Lecture

Dr. Robert T. Schooley is pictured from the shoulders up. He is wearing glasses, a blue sport jacket, a pink shirt and a necktie. He is outside and there are trees behind him.

Honored Speaker: Robert T. Schooley, MD, Professor of Medicine
Academic Vice Chair, Department of Medicine
University of California, San Diego

Dr. Schooley is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed an internal medicine residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and infectious disease fellowships at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School in 1981 and shifted his research focus from herpes group viruses as recognition of the AIDS epidemic developed. His early research efforts were directed at the definition of the role of HIV-1 specific cellular immune responses in the immunopathogenesis of HIV-1 infection. He also became heavily involved in both preclinical and clinical antiretroviral chemotherapeutic research.

He was recruited to the University of Colorado in 1990 as Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases where he developed an integrated HIV program clinical care and research program. He was elected Chair of the NIAID’s AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) in 1995 and led that group until 2002 during which time the ACTG performed many of the seminal studies that defined modern antiretroviral chemotherapy. He served as a member of the DHHS Task Force for AIDS Drug Development Task Force and of the Levine Committee. While at the University of Colorado he also served as the founding Chair of the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). In 1999 he and his successor in the leadership of the ACTG, Dr. Constance Benson, led the transformation of the ACTG from its initial US domestic focus to its current multinational composition. This international expansion enabled the conduct of HPTN 052 which was largely conducted with the clinical trials infrastructure established by the ACTG’s international expansion.

In 2005 he joined the faculty at the University of California, San Diego where he served as Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases until last year. He is currently, a Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine, Senior Director of International Initiatives of UCSD and a Co-Director of the UCSD Center for AIDS Research. At UCSD he has developed a multidisciplinary collaboration between UCSD and Mozambique’s major university, the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, that is based on the structure of the partnerships by which the ACTG accomplished its international expansion the previous decade. His research interests have been in the diagnosis, pathogenesis and therapy of viral infections and in global health. More recently he has become interested in the use of bacteriophages as therapeutic agents to treat multidrug resistant bacterial infections.