James Hildreth, M.D. Ph.D.

HildrethDirector of the Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research, Meharry Medical College

Hildreth graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in Boston, MA in 1979 with a B.S. degree in chemistry. He then attended Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar and earned his Ph.D. in immunology in 1982. Subsequently, Hildreth received his M.D. at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD and accepted a faculty position there soon after graduation. In 2002, Hildreth became the first African-American in the history at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to earn full Professorship with tenure in the basic sciences. He went on to serve at Johns Hopkins for several years as the first Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. Hildreth research focuses on determining the mechanisms of transmission and pathogenesis of Human Retroviruses HIV-1 and HTLV-1.  In 2001, while Hildreth was Chief of the Division of Research for NIH’s National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, he and his research team discovered that cholesterol is active in HIV's ability to penetrate cells and that removing the fatty material from a cell's membrane can block infection. Hildreth became Director of the National Institutes of Health Center for Health Disparities Research in HIV at Meharry Medical College 2005.  He continues to maintain a National Institutes of Health funded laboratory and publish in high impact research journals.

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