"I'm grateful and honored to be acknowledged in this way by my colleagues. As a mid-career award, it provides a nice morale boost as I look ahead to the next 25 years of challenges posed by HIV/AIDS," Dr Sodroski said.
The Retrovirology Prize, awarded annually, recognises an outstanding mid-year retrovirologist aged 45 to 60. The prize, supported by the Ming K. Jeang Foundation, alternates between HIV and non-HIV research. Last year's winner was Stephen P Goff at Columbia for his basic retrovirus research.
The M Jeang Retrovirology Prize winner is selected, by Retrovirology's editors, from nominations submitted via the journal's Editorial Board. Representing the Editors of Retrovirology, Prof. Andrew Lever of Cambridge University, the UK, explains why they chose Sodroski
"We had several very outstanding nominees this year. After considered deliberations, the Retrovirology Editors recognized the importance of Dr. Sodroski's many accomplishments to HIV research and selected him as the clear choice for this year."
Joseph Sodroski received his M.D. from Jefferson Medical College in 1980 and did his postdoctoral training at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the laboratory of Dr. William Haseltine.
Dr Sodroski has made many important discoveries about how HIV infects cells and causes disease. While working in the laboratory of William Haseltine, Sodroski demonstrated that HTLV-1 and HIV encoded transactivating proteins Tax and Tat. He also identified the Rev gene, which controls the switch from early to late stages in the replication cycle of HIV. In collaboration with others, Sodroski produced the first X-ray structure of the external glycoprotein gp120. With Norman Letvin, Sodroski developed the simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) model in monkeys and created the first HIV-based vectors. Most recently, his group identified the restriction factor mediating post-entry blocks to HIV in Old World monkeys.
Retrovirology is an open access, online journal published by BioMed Central. The journal publishes stringently peer-reviewed, high-impact articles on basic retrovirus research. The full interview with Dr Sodroski is published today in Retrovirology at http://www.retrovirology.com/content/3/1/45/abstract. For more information about the Retrovirology Prize, read the Retrovirology editorial: www.retrovirology.com/content/2/1/26
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