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The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine Co-founder and Scientific Director, Global Virus Network
Since 1996, Dr. Robert C. Gallo has been Director of the Institute of Human Virology and Professor of Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He is also currently Co-Founder and Scientific Director of the Global Virus Network (GVN). Previously (for 30 years) he was at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Gallo’s career long interest has followed these themes: the study of the basic biology of human blood cells; their normal and abnormal growth; and the causes of abnormal growth whether excessive, e.g., leukemia, or insufficient, e.g. immune deficiencies, and the involvement of viruses in these abnormalities.
Dr. Gallo and his co-workers opened and pioneered the field of human retrovirology when in 1980 they discovered the first human retrovirus (HTLV-1) and with others showed it was a cause of a particular form of human leukemia. (This was the first, and to date, the only known human leukemia virus and one of the few known viruses shown to cause a human cancer). A year later he and his group discovered the second known human retrovirus (HTLV-2). Dr. Gallo and his colleagues also independently discovered HIV (the 3rd known human retrovirus), and provided the first results to show that HIV was the cause of AIDS. They also developed the life saving HIV blood test (1983-1984). Earlier in 1978, Gallo discovered a variant of gibbon ape leukemia virus (Hall’s Island strain) which causes T-cell leukemia.
The discoveries of all human retroviruses, including HIV, were to a great extent dependent on being able to grow human T-cells (lymphocytes) in the laboratory, and this was achieved by the use of a growth factor called Interleukin-2 or IL-2. Dr. Gallo and his co-workers discovered Interleukin-2 in 1976, thus setting the stage for all groups to culture human T-cells. Today IL-2 is used not only in laboratory experiments but also in some therapies for cancer and AIDS. Gallo and co-workers also spent several years in the 1970s working out detailed biochemical and immunological characteristics of human cellular DNA alpha-, beta-, and gamma-polymerases as well as reverse transcriptase (RT) from several retroviruses in order to use RT as a sensitive and specific surrogate marker for retroviruses. It was particularly essential to distinguish the mitochondrial DNA polymerase (DNA pol. gamma) from RT because of their similar biochemical characteristics which had led to many prior false claims for detecting human retroviruses.
In 1995 he and his colleagues discovered the first natural (endogenous) inhibitors of HIV, namely some of the beta chemokines. This discovery helped in the later discovery of the HIV co-receptor, CCR5, and opened up entire new approaches to treatment of HIV disease.
Also, Dr. Gallo, along with his colleague, D. Ablashi, discovered in 1986 the first new human herpes in more than twenty-five years, Human Herpes Virus-6 (HHV-6). This is now known to cause Roseola in infants and is a candidate for involvement in several other diseases.
Currently, Dr. Gallo and his team receive significant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health for a promising HIV preventive vaccine candidate.
Dr. Gallo has been awarded 34 honorary doctorates from universities in the United States, China, Sweden, Italy, Israel, Peru, Germany, Belgium, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Ireland, Jamaica and Greece. He is a member of numerous professional and honorary societies including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of Medicine (Glasgow, Scotland), the Royal Society of Medicine (Brussels, Belgium), the Royal College of Physicians (Ireland), and a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
He has received numerous major scientific honors and Albert Lasker Prize (1982 and 1986); General Motors Cancer Research Prize (1984); American Cancer Society Medal of Honor Award (1983); Gairdner Foundation International Award (Canada – 1987); 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 World Health Award from President Gorbachev in Vienna (November, 2001); the first Otto Herz Memorial Award for Basic Research on Malignant Processes (Israel – 1982); Hebrew University’s Rabbi Shai Shacknai Memorial Price (Israel – 1985); the Tata Memorial Centre’s Birla International Award (India – 1986); the Tevere Roma International Award (Italy – 1985); the Harvard Medical School Warren Alpert Foundation Award (1998); Israel’s top prize, the Dan David Award (2009); the Paul G. Rogers Medical Science Award of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (2010); and the Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professorship in Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (2013).
Dr. Gallo was the most cited scientist in the world from 1980 to 1990, according to the Institute for Scientific Information (Science July 27, 1990, p. 358), and he was ranked third in the world for scientific impact for the period from 1983 to 2002 (PNAS, November 15, 2005, vol102, no.46, 6569-16572). He has published close to 1,200 papers.
Antonio Giordano is an Italian-American oncologist, pathologist, geneticist, researcher, professor and writer. Dr. Giordano is the President & Founder of the Sbarro Health Research Organization (www.shro.org), Director and Professor of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine and Center for Biotechnology at Temple University, College of Science & Technology in Philadelphia, PA. He is also “Chiara fama” Professor at the Department of Medicine, Surgery & Neuroscience at the University of Siena in Italy. He discovered key players in cell cycle regulation and his seminal studies contributed to the understanding of some of the central mechanisms underlying cancer development in the field of cell cycle, gene therapy and genetics of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. He has published more than 500 scientific articles. He received several national and international awards for his contributions to cancer research. He is a member of the editorial board of several international journals and is the holder of 20 international patents and U.S. patents. In the past few years, Giordano has devoted many efforts to the study of the relation between cancer and environmental pollution in the Italian region Campania. He was among the first to report an increased incidence of various tumor types in the population living close by the sites of illegal toxic waste dumping. In this theme, he did not only publish scientific articles but also committed to make known these data through two books on the topic, by launching a petition to safeguard the environment, and through many other no-profit activities. Starting from March 2018, Doct. Antonio Giordano become a member of the Religious Advisory Council of the Saint Pio Foundation.
James Gregory (Greg) Jolissaint, MD, joined the Veterans Affairs Maryland Healthcare System (VAMHCS) on January 12th, 2015, where he now serves as the Director for Quality, Safety, and improvement for the VAMHCS. He joined the VA after successfully serving as the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for General Dynamics Information Technology’s (GDIT’s) Military and Veterans Health Sector, and as GDIT’s Medical Director for the Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) Program, from August 2010 to January 2015.
Greg attended Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on an Army ROTC Scholarship. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in May 1977. After completing his Infantry Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, Lieutenant Jolissaint transitioned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he successfully served in Infantry Battalion positions that included Rifle Platoon Leader, Battalion Staff Officer, and Infantry Company Commander in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
Captain Jolissaint left active duty in July 1981 to pursue a medical career; he earned a Doctorate of Medicine from Louisiana State University School of Medicine (New Orleans) in June 1986. Doctor Jolissaint returned to active duty, completing his Family Medicine Internship and Residency at Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Georgia, in June 1989.
During his 24 year career as an Army Medical Department (AMEDD) officer, Doctor Jolissaint successfully served as a staff Family Medicine Physician, as a Clinical Faculty member for an Army Family Medicine Residency program, as a hospital Deputy Commander for Clinical Services/CMO, as the Command Surgeon/CMO for the 101st Airborne Division and the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), as the Commander/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the 86th Combat Support Hospital, and as the Project Leader for the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Team at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.
Doctor Jolissaint’s military career also included deployments as a Treatment Platoon Physician with the 1st Armored Division during Operation Desert Storm, and as the Commander/CEO of Task Force Medical Falcon V in Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, during Operation Joint Guardian. Doctor Jolissaint culminated a professionally rewarding military career serving as the Commander/CEO of the 18th Medical Command and the 121st Combat Support Hospital in YongSan, South Korea, where he also served as the Command Surgeon/CMO for the US Forces Korea (USFK), the United Nations Command (UNC), and the Eighth US Army (EUSA). Greg retired from the Army as a Colonel in the summer of 2010.
Doctor Jolissaint has been board certified in Family Medicine since 1989. In 1998, Lieutenant Colonel Jolissaint earned a Master of Science Degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF), National Defense University (NDU), Fort McNair, Washington, DC. In March 2012, Dr. Jolissaint attained board certification in Medical Management and earned recognition as a Certified Physician Executive (CPE).
Doctor Jolissaint’s extracurricular activities have primarily been in support of his family and the Catholic Church. He is a 4th Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus, and he has been invested into the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. Doctor Jolissaint serves as the Medical Director for the annual Archdiocese for Military Services-Knights of Columbus co-sponsored Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage which supports Wounded, Ill, and Injured Warriors and Veterans seeking spiritual enlightment at the shrine of Lourdes, France.
Dr. Robert Paul Raggi attend the seminary of St Pius X and Cathedral College. He attended Georgetown University Medical School and received his MD degree. He attended Rutgers University and received his Law degree and an MBA from Tulane University. He has served on the Georgetown Medical Alumni Board and was elected the National Chairman of Philanthropy. He has also served on the board of Boys and Girls Towns of Italy.
He has served as Director of Anesthesia and Pain Management Holy Name Hospital, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Cornell Affiliate and Director of Pain Management at St. Vincent’s Hospital and SUNY at Stony Brook Medical Center. He has been appointed Asst. Professor at SUNY at Stony Brook and Weil Cornell Medical School. Dr. Raggi was Chief Medical Officer & Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, a 350-bed academic medical center that cares for the underserved in Brooklyn, New York. During his 10-year tenure at Wyckoff, he was a leader in patient safety, clinical outcomes and physician alignment initiatives at the medical center. He practiced anesthesiology in the New York City area prior to beginning his career in health care administration and served as a consultant on medical-legal issues.
Dr Raggi has recently been appointed as the new Chief Medical Officer of Providence Holy Cross Medical Center (PHCMC). Dr. Raggi brings a broad range of medical and management experience to Providence. A board-certified anesthesiologist, Dr. Raggi has joined the ministry’s senior leadership team to work in collaboration with the outstanding PHCMC medical staff physicians in providing leading health care for the local community. Providence Health System (PHS) consists of 34 hospitals, 475 physician clinics, 22 long-term care facilities, 19 hospice and home health programs and 693 supportive housing units in 14 locations.
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