Essex Team Accomplishments on HIV/AIDS

Melissa Zahralban-Steele, Max Essex and Vlad Novitsky in the Essex Lab

1974 Showed that retroviruses cause immune suppression in cats.
1982 Hypothesized that a retrovirus is the cause of AIDS.
1984 Identified envelope proteins of HIV which would be used for HIV tests and blood screening.
1985 Identified Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) in monkeys.
1985 Identified HIV-2 in people in West Africa.
1988 Identified HIV antibodies in saliva, paving the way for a blood-free diagnostic test.
1994 Demonstrated that HIV-2 is transmitted much less efficiently than HIV-1 and causes AIDS less often.
1995 Demonstrated that HIV-2 can partially protect against HIV-1 infection.
1999, 2004, 2006 Provided evidence that HIV-1 subtypes differ in rate of transmission and disease progression.
2000, 2006 Demonstrated uses of drugs to reduce rates of mother-to-child transmission.
2007, 2009 Showed different patterns of drug resistance for HIV-1C, the virus of the largest epidemic in Africa.
2010 Demonstrated that women taking antiretroviral drug combinations can breastfeed with minimal risk of transmission of HIV/AIDS to their infants.

Title Image; Melissa Zahralban-Steele, Max Essex and Vlad Novitsky in the Essex Lab. Photo by Kent Dayton