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Jay Levy honored with 2004 Abbott Laboratories Award in Clinical and Diagnostic Immunology

WASHINGTON, DC--APRIL 23, 2004--Jay A. Levy, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Director of the Laboratory for Tumor and AIDS Virus Research at the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, will receive the 2004 Abbott Laboratories Award in Clinical and Diagnostic Immunology. Supported by Abbott Laboratories Diagnostic Division since 1992, the award from the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) recognizes Levy's extraordinary contributions in the field of viral immunity, including his independent discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and his explication of cellular immune responses to HIV. He will present the Division V Lecture at the ASM General Meeting, "Innate Immunity: Its Importance in Preventing HIV Infection and Disease."

His findings have had far-reaching effects on several fields, including immunology, microbiology, and biomedical sciences. In 1970, Levy discovered the existence of xenotropic retroviruses, which are viruses that infect cells of heterologous species, not the animal species from which the virus was isolated. This finding confirmed the germ line transmission of viruses and led to a greater appreciation of the wide range of cellular hosts that could be infected by retroviruses. He and his group showed that HIV can become more virulent over time and can infect the brain, bowel, and several other tissues besides the immune system. Another early result of Levy's pioneering research was his development of a heat inactivation treatment that removed HIV from blood products and made receipt of clotting factors safe for hemophiliacs.

Levy went on to discover a novel noncytotoxic antiviral response in CD8+ cells, where immune cells suppress HIV without killing the infected cell. This immune response has since been observed with other viruses and in a range of animal species. Levy's group was also among the first to identify the role played in HIV infection by plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDCs). Larg
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Contact: Barbara Hyde
bhyde@asmusa.org
202-942-9206
American Society for Microbiology
30-Apr-2004


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