Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Martin, Malcolm A.
Location National Institutes of Health
Primary Field Microbial Biology
 Election Citation
Martin is a virologist who has made many significant contributions to our understanding of papovaviruses, of the retroviruses that hide in all of our cells, and of the virus that causes AIDS, called HIV. He conducted critical risk assessment experiments that allowed the safe molecular cloning of DNA from animals to proceed, and he continues to be a leader of molecular and biological investigations of AIDS.
 Research Interests
As a virologist, I have used molecular and biochemical techniques to investigate fundamental processes associated with virus replication and disease induction. My laboratory showed that cells, oncogenically transformed by DNA and RNA viruses, contained as few as one to five integrated copies of the viral genome. We subsequently generated the first genomic maps of the BK and JC human papovaviruses and the first transcriptional map of an animal virus (SV40). Experiments to assess the risk of gene cloning (mouse polyoma virus) established the safety of recombinant DNA technology and permitted the molecular cloning of DNA from eukaryotic organisms and animal viruses to proceed. During the past 20 years I have concentrated on retroviruses and identified the presence of thousands of copies of retroviral DNA embedded in normal human chromosomal DNA. My laboratory constructed one of the first full-length, infectious molecular clones of HIV-1, which has been widely used to study viral gene regulation, particle assembly and release, and the function of the numerous viral accessory proteins. Most recently, HIV/SIV chimeric viruses have been constructed that induce immunodeficiency in macaque monkeys. These viruses, which contain substantial amounts of HIV-1 sequences, can be used in vaccine studies involving subhuman primates to assess the efficacy of potential vaccines in preventing disease.

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