Click for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Forecast



Retirement of Dr. Nathanson, VP for Research

Neal Nathanson

Dr. Neal Nathanson, a renowned microbiologist, recently announced that he will retire from his position as Vice Provost for Research at Penn, effective July 1, 2003. Dr. Nathanson has been Vice Provost for Research at Penn since December of 2000.

"Neal has led us through an extraordinary period of growth and change in our research enterprise," said Provost Robert Barchi. "He has overseen the successful transformation of our research compliance efforts and truly helped make Penn a world leader in this area. President Rodin and I are very grateful that he was willing to step in and lead us through significant progress in transforming our research infrastructure."

As the VP for Research, Dr. Nathanson has had policy and administrative oversight for the University's over $500 million research enterprise. He has also dealt directly with policy issues relating to the conduct of research, including human research and clinical trials. He has also played a central role in the strategic planning for research and assisted in the transfer of new technology from the research laboratory to the public.

Immediately prior to his appointment at Penn, Dr. Nathanson worked as the director of the Office of AIDS Research at the National Institutes of Health from 1998-2000. While serving at the NIH, Dr. Nathanson led an office that coordinated scientific, budgetary, legislative, and policy elements of the NIH AIDS research program and also promoted collaborative research both in the United States and abroad.

Dr. Nathanson will be returning to his position as an emeritus professor in the School of Medicine, where he plans to pursue a number of interests. His first project will be a new course based on his book, Viral Pathogenesis and Immunity, recently published by Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. In addition, he will continue to serve on a number of scientific advisory panels dealing with AIDS vaccine and the control of the HIV pandemic. As he said good-naturedly, "Who knows what the future may bring, as I begin my fourth retirement?"

Dr. Nathanson rose to prominence for his definitive work on the virology and epidemiology of polio. His significant contributions include the clear delineation of the two major routes by which poliovirus could be disseminated in its host. His other research breakthroughs include the demonstration that lymphocytic choriomeningitis could be prevented or enhanced by immune manipulation, and the detailed genetic analysis of bunyavirus virulence. He also did some of the key, early studies of visna virus of sheep, the prototype of the lentiviruses, of which the AIDS virus is another member. His NIH-sponsored work has included studies in the mechanism by which HIV causes disease. Dr. Nathanson received his B.S. (magna cum laude) and M.D. at Harvard University, and underwent his clinical training in internal medicine at Chicago. He subsequently did his postdoctoral training in virology at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Nathanson spent two years at the Centers for Disease Control, heading the Polio Surveillance Unit. He later joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, becoming the professor and head of the division of infectious diseases in the department of epidemiology. Dr. Nathanson then joined Penn's Medical School, where he chaired the department of microbiology and served as vice dean for research and research training.

Dr. Nathanson has numerous affiliations with scientific societies including the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the American Public Health Association; the American Academy of Neurology; the American Epidemiological Society; the Association of American Physicians; the American Society for Virology; and the Society for Infectious Diseases.

He has been the President of the American Epidemiological Society; an Editor of Epidemiologic Reviews; and a member of the AIDS vaccine research committee of the NIH.

Dr. Nathanson's awards include the Research Career Development Award, USPHS; the Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award; and the Society of Scholars at Johns Hopkins University; and the Pioneer in Neurovirology Award.


  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 20, February 4, 2003