Virologist, AIDS Specialist Douglas Richman Receives 2002 Department of Veterans Affairs Middleton Award for HIV and AIDS Research
The Department of Veterans Affairs on Tuesday announced that Dr. Douglas Richman, a virologist at the VA's San Diego Healthcare System, will receive its 2002 Middleton Award for his research on HIV and AIDS. The award, established in 1960 in honor of educator and physician-scientist Dr. William Middleton, recognizes senior VA biomedical investigators for achievements relevant to the department's research mission. Richman, who is the director of the Research Center for AIDS and HIV Infection at the San Diego VA and the Center for AIDS Research at the University of California-San Diego, was chosen for the award because "his research is directly responsible for major advances in the medical treatment of people with AIDS and HIV," Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi said. In clinical trials during the late 1980s, Richman and his colleagues established the effectiveness of zidovudine -- which was known at the time as azidothymidine, or AZT -- in treating HIV infection, contributing to the drug becoming the first approved for HIV-positive patients in the United States. He also has studied different combination therapy regimens used to counter drug-resistant strains of HIV. His recent research shows that more than 75% of HIV-positive patients in the nation carry strains of the virus that are resistant to some form of drug therapy and that highly active antiretroviral therapy leaves small reservoirs of HIV in immune cells even when blood tests show no trace of the virus. Currently, Richman is studying neutralizing antibody to HIV, which may help in the development of an HIV vaccine (Department of Veterans Affairs release, 2/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.