The winner of the 2014 Abbott Award in Clinical and Diagnostic Immunology is Robert Yarchoan, M.D., National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, Maryland. Alexandra Levine, City of Hope, says "his work has paved the way for understanding the immunologic basis and therapeutic paradigms for patients with HIV/AIDS over the past three decades."
After receiving his B.A. from Amherst College and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, he trained in internal medicine at the University of Minnesota and immunology at NCI. He then joined forces with Samuel Broder and Hiroaki Mitsuya, and played a major role in the development of the first effective therapies for HIV infection, including zidovudine (AZT), didanosine (ddI), and zalcitabine (ddC). Specifically, he led the first clinical trials of these drugs, was a co-inventor of ddI and ddC as AIDS therapies, and led initial studies of combination anti-HIV therapy.
In 1996, Yarchoan was named Chief of the newly formed HIV and AIDS Malignancy Branch. In his capacity as an intramural researcher in the NCI Center for Cancer Research, he studies AIDS-related malignancies, especially the pathogenesis and treatment of tumors caused by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). In December 2007, Yarchoan was appointed as the first Director of the NCI Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy where he oversees and coordinates HIV/AIDS research throughout the NCI. Yarchoan has received many honors, including the Assistant Secretary for Health Award. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2013 received an Honorary Degree from Amherst College.