Robert Siliciano is a Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is an immunologist and virologist recognized for his work on the treatment of HIV infection. He is known particularly for identifying and characterizing the latent reservoir for HIV in resting CD4+ T cells. This reservoir is the major barrier to curing HIV infection and the subject of an intense international research effort. Siliciano was born in Rochester, New York and grew up in Elmira, New York. He graduated from Princeton University with a degree in chemistry and then received an MD and a PhD in immunology from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. After a postdoctoral fellowship in immunology at Harvard Medical School, he joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1988. He is a member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. For 16 years, he directed the Hopkins MD-PhD Program at Johns Hopkins.

Research Interests

Robert Siliciano and his wife Janet Siliciano lead a laboratory that is focused in finding a cure for HIV infection. Following the lab?s discovery in 1995 of a latent reservoir for HIV, they demonstrated that latently infected cells persist indefinitely even in patients on prolonged antiretroviral therapy (ART). These studies indicated that eradication of HIV 1 infection with ART alone would never be possible. The lab is now focused on understanding the in vivo dynamics of this reservoir, specifically the factors that account for the remarkable stability of the reservoir. The lab is also working to identify drugs that will reactivate latent HIV so that it can be targeted by the immune system, and to develop accurate, scalable assays that can be used to evaluate curative interventions. In addition, the lab has studied theoretical aspects of the pharmacodynamics of antiretroviral drugs in an effort to understand the remarkable ability of these drugs to block HIV replication.

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Primary Section

Section 44: Microbial Biology

Secondary Section

Section 43: Immunology and Inflammation