Michael S. Saag, MD
Professor of Medicine and Director, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Dr. Saag has spent his career treating and studying HIV/AIDS infection, and he has made seminal discoveries relating to the genetic evolution of HIV. He evaluated isolates of virus obtained from individual patients at different periods in time and cloned and molecularly characterized these isolates to determine the degree of diversity of co-existing viral variants and to describe their evolution over time (Nature, 1988). During the last 6 months of his Infectious Disease fellowship, Dr. Saag conceived the concept of a comprehensive HIV outpatient clinic dedicated to the provision of comprehensive patient care in conjunction with the conduct of high quality clinic trials, basic science, and clinical outcomes research.
Since the establishment of the clinic, Dr. Saag has participated in many studies of antiretroviral therapy as well as novel treatments for opportunistic infections. He has published over 280 articles in peer reviewed journals, including the first description of the use of viral load in clinical practice (Science, 1993), the first description of the rapid dynamics of viral replication (Nature, 1995), the first guidelines for use of viral load in practice (Nature Medicine, 1996), the first proof of concept of fusion inhibition as a therapeutic option (Nature Medicine, 1998), and directed the ‘first-in-patient’ studies of 7 of the 25 antiretroviral drugs currently on the market (including indinavir, efavirenz, abacavir, and enfuvirtide).
Dr. Saag has contributed over 50 chapters to medical textbooks, has served on the Editorial Board of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, co-edited a textbook entitled AIDS Therapy and currently serves as an Editor of the Sanford Guide for Antimicrobial Agents and the Sanford HIV Guide. He recently served on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine (and as Chair of the Infectious Disease Subspecialty Board), has twice served as a member of the HIV Disease Committee of the Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program for the American College of Physicians, and has served recently on the NIH Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council.
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