In Memoriam: Stephen Oroszlan, Ph.D., Scientist Emeritus

HIV Dynamics and Replication Program
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HIV DRP staff photo September 2019
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Melissa Fernandez work-in-progress seminar August 2018
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HIV DRP Think Tank Meeting 2017
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Announcement of 2020 David Derse Memorial Lecture and Award
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Sean Patro's poster presentation at CROI 2019
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John Coffin and Stephen Hughes participating in This Week in Virology podcast at 2018 Cold Spring Harbor Retroviruses Meeting
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Students and postbac fellows in the HIV Dynamics and Replication Program July 2019

In Memoriam: Stephen Oroszlan, Ph.D., Scientist Emeritus

Photo of Stephen Oroszlan, Ph.D.The HIV DRP mourns the recent death of Stephen Oroszlan, a pioneer in studies related to the biochemistry and enzymology of retroviral replication and the biosynthesis of retroviral enzymes and structural proteins.

Dr. Oroszlan received his early training in chemical engineering in his native Hungary.  Following his immigration to the U.S., he obtained a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Georgetown University.  After his postdoctoral training at the NCI from 1961 to 1963, he conducted biochemistry research on retroviruses at the Albert Einstein Medical Center, George Washington University School of Medicine, and Flow Laboratories.  In 1976 he returned to the NCI and served as Director of the Molecular Virology and Carcinogenesis Laboratory, ABL-Basic Research Program, from 1983 to 1995.  He was appointed Scientist Emeritus in 1995, and since 1999 he had been affiliated with the HIV DRP.

Dr. Oroszlan was perhaps best known for his groundbreaking research defining the role of retroviral proteases in the generation of mature Gag-related protein products, which comprise the virus particle structure.  This work played a central role in the development of HIV protease inhibitors, which became a mainstay in the treatment of HIV-infected individuals.  His laboratory also discovered that many retroviral Gag proteins are modified with the fatty acid myristate, a finding that was of great importance in understanding the assembly of retroviral particles.  He published more than 250 papers and was named one of the most highly cited researchers in microbiology by the Institute for Scientific Information.

Dr. Oroszlan's numerous honors include the award of a Doctor Honoris Causa Degree from the University of Debrecen Medical School in 1993, election to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences as a foreign associate in 1994, a Retroviral Retrospective Symposium held in his honor at Hood College in 1994, and the Mór Kaposi Research Foundation Award in 2000.

Alan Rein, a longtime colleague of Dr. Oroszlan’s and head of the Retrovirus Assembly Section in the HIV DRP, is serving as a guest editor for the Viruses Special Issue “In Memory of Stephen Oroszlan” to honor his work and scientific legacy.