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Lawrence Corey

Lawrence Corey (born February 14, 1947), Professor of Medicine and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Washington and President Emeritus of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is an American physician-scientist and an internationally recognized expert in virology, immunology and vaccine development. His discoveries have been recognized as having advanced the understanding of the pathogenesis and treatment of diseases caused by viruses, especially human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and herpesviruses. These investigations included the development and testing of experimental vaccines for genital herpes and HIV, and developing new methods for diagnosing and monitoring therapies for viral infections.


  • Education and career 1
  • Research 2
  • Honors 3
  • Selected works 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Education and career

Corey received a B.A. (1967) and M.D. (1971) from the University of Michigan, and received postgraduate training at the University of Michigan, University of Washington, and the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the early 1980s Corey worked with Nobel Prize-winning biochemist and pharmacologist Dr. Gertrude Elion to demonstrate that an antiviral that was selective and specific for a viral-specified enzyme could be safely and effectively administered to control a chronic viral infection (herpes simplex virus-2). These studies were directly responsible for the subsequent successful quest of the pharmaceutical and medical sciences communities to develop effective antiviral therapy for hepatitis B and HIV.

In 1987 Corey directed the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, or ACTG, which conducted pivotal clinical trials confirming the use of the antiretroviral drug AZT to reduce maternal-fetal transmission of HIV and the usefulness of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). His research group was the first to identify an association between the virus that causes genital herpes (herpes simplex virus) and HIV. Through the ACTG he also was the first to lead the integration of community members into clinical research activities.

In the mid-1990s Corey increasingly focused his work in the area of vaccine development, and in 1998 worked with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop a global clinical trials group to speed the development of HIV vaccines. In 2002, Corey became the major driver in conceiving of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise. The Enterprise is one of the few scientific programs that is overseen by leaders of the major industrialized countries of the world.

In July 2008, Dr. Corey co-founded the biotechnology company Immune Design, to develop vaccines built on emerging understanding of the human immune system. The Company's additional founders include Dr. David Baltimore, Nobel Laureate, former president of Caltech, and a leading immunologist; Dr. Steven Reed, founder of the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI), Dr. Lili Yang of Caltech, and Dr. Pin Wang of University of Southern California. On July 30, 2010, Dr Corey was named the fourth president of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

In addition to his professorships at the University of Washington, Corey is currently principal investigator of the US HIV Vaccine Trials Network and holder of the Lawrence Corey Endowed Chair in Medical Virology at the University of Washington. In 2008, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the (US) National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Corey is one of the most highly cited and funded investigators in the United States. He has authored 12 books and more than 600 scientific publications and is a member of numerous scientific committees and editorial boards, including the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Counselors for Basic Sciences.


Corey’s early research dealt with various areas of virology, including identification of diagnostic methods for genital herpes and participation in development of effective treatments. Between 1988-1998, Corey published a series of key studies showing the association between infection with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and HIV-1,[1][2]

These studies led to pilot and large sale clinical trials of anti-HSV-2 therapy to reduce HIV acquisition and transmission [3] Corey also published landmark papers showing the effectiveness of acyclovir in the treatment of genital herpes,[4][5]

His current work includes the coordination of clinical trials sites and laboratories for Phase 1-3 trials of HIV vaccines. He continues to do research in defining persistent reservoirs of HIV infection, prevention of CMV and HHV-6 infections in immunocompromised hosts, epidemiological studies of the relationship between HSV and HIV infection, and, in general, development of new technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of viral infections.


Dr. Corey is a member of the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine. He is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and a member of the American Epidemiological Society, American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians. In addition, he is the recipient of the Pan American Society’s Clinical Virology Award, the American Society for STD Research’s Parran Award, and the University of Michigan Medical School’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 2008, Dr. Corey was elected to the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2012, he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Selected works

Casper C, Krantz E, Selke S, Kuntz S, Wang J, Huang ML, Pauk JS, Corey L, Wald A (2007) Frequent asymptomatic mucosal replication of human herpesvirus 8 in immunocompetent men, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 195 (30-36).

Lazaro CA, Chang M, Tang W, Campbell J, Sullivan DG, Gretch DR, Corey L, Coombs RW (2007) Hepatitis C virus replication in transfected and serum-infected cultured human fetal hepatocytes, The American Journal of Pathology, 170 (478-489).

Zerr DM, Meier AS, Selke SS, Frenkel LM, Huang ML, Wald A, Rhoads M, Nguy L, Bornemann R, Morrow RA, Corey L (2005) A population-based study of primary human herpesvirus 6 infection, The New England Journal of Medicine, 352, 768-776.

Corey L, Wald A, Patel R, Sacks SL, Tyring SK, Warren T, Douglas JM Jr, Paavonen J, Morrow RA, Beutner KR, Stratchounsky LS, Mertz G, Keene ON, Watson HA, Tait D, Vargas-Cortes M; Valacyclovir HSV Transmission Study Group (2004) Once daily valacyclovir to reduce the risk of transmission of genital herpes, The New England Journal of Medicine, 350, 11-20.

Klausner RD, Fauci AS, Corey L, Nabel GJ, Gayle H, Berkley S, Haynes BF, Baltimore D, Collins C, Douglas RG, Esparza J, Francis DP, Ganguly NK, Gerberding JL, Johnston MI, Kazatchkine MD, McMichael AJ, Makgoba MW, Pantaleo G, Piot P, Shao Y, Tramont E, Varmus H, Wasserheit JN (2003) The need for a global HIV vaccine enterprise, Science, 300, 2036-2039.

Wald A, Langenberg AGM, Link K, Izu A, Ashley R, Warren T, Tyring S, Douglas JM, Corey L (2001) Effect of condoms on reducing the transmission of herpes simplex virus type-2 from men to women, JAMA, 285, 3100-3106

Wald A, Zeh J, Selke S, Warren T, Ryncarz AJ, Ashley R, Krieger JN, Corey L (2000) Reactivation of genital herpes simplex virus type 2 infection in asymptomatic seropositive persons, The New England Journal of Medicine, 342(12), 844-50

McElrath M J, Corey L, Greenberg P D, Matthews T J, Montefiori D C, Rowen L, Hood L, Mullins JI (1996). Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection despite prior immunization with a recombinant envelope vaccine regimen, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), 93(9), 3972-7.


  1. ^ Stamm WE, Handsfield HH, Rompalo AM, Ashley RL, Roberts PL, Corey L. "The association between genital ulcer disease and acquisition of HIV infection in homosexual men." JAMA. 1988 Sep 9;260(10):1429-33.
  2. ^ Schacker T, Ryncarz AJ, Goddard J, Diem K, Shaughnessy M, Corey L. Frequent recovery of HIV-1 from genital herpes simplex virus lesions in HIV-1-infected men. JAMA. 1998 Jul 1;280(1):61-6.
  3. ^ Nagot N, Ouedraogo A, Foulongne V, et al. Reduction of HIV-1 RNA levels with therapy to suppress herpes simplex virus. N Engl J Med 2007;356:790-799.
  4. ^ Corey L, Nahmias AJ, Guinan ME, Benedetti JK, Critchlow CW, Holmes KK. "A trial of topical acyclovir in genital herpes simplex virus infections." N Engl J Med. 1982 Jun 3;306(22):1313-9.
  5. ^ Douglas JM, Critchlow C, Benedetti J, Mertz GJ, Connor JD, Hintz MA, Fahnlander A, Remington M, Winter C, Corey L. "A double-blind study of oral acyclovir for suppression of recurrences of genital herpes simplex virus infection." N Engl J Med. 1984 Jun 14;310(24):1551-6.

External links

  • Lawrence Corey, Official web page as Principal Investigator of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network
  • Official web page at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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