Distinghuished HIV Researchers, U Faculty Members, Named Co-Chairs of Biochemistry

Distinghuished HIV Researchers, U Faculty Members, Named Co-Chairs of Biochemistry

Sep 11, 2009 3:37 PM

SALT LAKE CITY-Two University of Utah biochemists who have made substantial contributions to HIV research have been appointed co-chairs of the Department of Biochemistry in the School of Medicine.

Christopher P. Hill, D.Phil., distinguished professor of biochemistry, and Wesley I. Sundquist, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and an H.A. and Edna Benning Presidential Endowed Chair holder, have been named to succeed Dana Carroll, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, who led the department from 1998 until recently stepping down. Carroll will continue with his research and teaching.

Sundquist and Hill, who each joined the biochemistry faculty in 1992, have collaborated on researching HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and are known internationally for their work.

In his research, Hill studies the structure and function of proteins, with particular focus on how multi-protein complexes are assembled, function, and move.

Sundquist researches the molecular and structural biology of HIV to understand how it assembles and releases from cells, its 3-D structure, and immune systems that cells have to fight HIV. He also is principal investigator on a National Institutes of Health grant that established one of three national "Center of Studies of the Structural Biology of HIV/Host Interactions" at the University.

Lorris Betz, M.D., Ph.D., University senior vice president for health sciences and executive dean of the medical school, said Sundquist and Hill will be outstanding co-chairs to build on Carroll's leadership of the department.

"As department chairman, Dr. Carroll built a faculty of first-rate researchers, and I want to thank him for his tremendous dedication and work," Betz said. "Under the leadership of Dr. Hill and Dr. Sundquist, I am confident the department is poised for even more important accomplishments in basic-science research."

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