John COFFIN, Tufts University, Boston, USA
Dr. Coffin is American Cancer Society Research Professor of Molecular Biology at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. Dr. Coffin’s scientific career has been centered on developing an understanding of the association of retroviruses with their hosts. As a student with Howard Temin, he performed some of the initial studies defining subviral structures and their presence in cells as markers of infection. As a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Charles Weissmann, he developed methodology to show the nuclear synthesis of retrovirus RNA by RNA pol II and performed some of the initial studies on genetic structure of the retrovirus genome.
In subsequent work, he has analyzed many facets of retrovirus biology, including genome structure and genetics, mechanisms of replication, co-evolution of viruses and hosts, and pathogenic mechanisms. Although his early work was with simple retroviruses of chickens and mice, he has taken an active role in the HIV problem and from 1997 to 2005 as Founder and Director of the HIV Drug Resistance Program of the National Cancer Institute. He was senior editor of Retroviruses, the definitive text in the field.
He was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 1999, and is currently a member of the PNAS Editorial Board. He has served with a number of government review and oversight committees relevant to the AIDS problem He has contributed extensively to the scientific literature, largely on the pathogenesis, evolution, and replication of HIV and other retroviruses.
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