University of Virginia

In the 1960’s when University of Virginia was considered a world hub for cardiovascular physiology, Dr. Robert Berne developed a drug to treat cardiac arrhythmia, using the naturally occurring chemical adenosine as his model. Today, his patented Adenocard is a staple in ambulances and paramedic kits, and has netted the University more than $30 million in drug royalties.

Alfred G. Gilman, while working at the University of Virginia, used several kinds of leukemia cells with altered genetic setup. He found that one mutated leukemia cell possessed a normal receptor and a normal amplifier protein that generated cyclic AMP as a second messenger. Ultimately, the follow-up to this research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center lead to the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

A computer program created at the University is changing the way technology experts think about computer networking. University of Virginia researchers led by Computer Science Professor Andrew Grimshaw invented Legion, a software system that acts like a sandwich between a normal PC and other PCs on a network to create a giant virtual supercomputer.

Syd Hecht, Department of Chemistry, first synthesized Bleomycin as a drug treatment for cancer

Donald Hunt, Professor of Chemistry and Pathology, joined the faculty at the University of Virginia in September 1968. He is internationally renowned for his work in the application of mass spectrometry to the contemporary microsequence analysis of proteins (tandem mass spectrometric methods for protein sequencing.).

UVA cell biologist John C. Herr, who came to UVA in 1981, has focused his research on the biology of the sperm. He founded and directs the Center for Recombinant Gamete Contraceptive Vaccinogens. Internationally recognized for his discovery of a unique sperm protein called SP-10, Herr’s findings led to development of the first patented home-diagnostic tests for male fertility. His work also has applications for possible contraceptive vaccines for women.

Janine Jagger is an epidemiologist in the U.Va School of Medicine specializing in injury prevention and control. Over the last 15 years, Dr. Jagger has devoted herself to reducing healthcare workers’ risks from occupational exposures to bloodborne pathogens. In 1988, Dr. Jagger and colleagues published a landmark study in the New England Journal of Medicine, which detailed the characteristics of medical devices causing needlestick injuries, and criteria for protective needle designs. That pioneering research provided the foundation for the development of a new generation of safer medical devices.

Dr. Barry Marshall, Department of Internal Medicine, is internationally recognized for his work with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori),a bacterium that has been shown to cause ulcers, and is linked with gastric cancer and dyspepsia. He has developed a 14-day antibiotic and bismuth therapy to eradicate the bacterium and also has devised a breath test that confirms the presence of H. Pylori in patients within 20 minutes.

Former U.Va. professor and 1998 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine Dr. Ferid Murad, won the Nobel Prize for discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signalling molecule in the cardiovascular system. Dr. Murad’s work, which was conducted at U.Va. from 1970 to 1983, provided the foundation for new drugs for hypertension in adults, treatment of prematurity in infants and the treatment for impotence.

Ronald P. Taylor, a faculty member in the U.Va. School of Medicine since 1973, studies the natural mechanisms by which white and red blood cells work to rid the bloodstream of disease. Taylor’s inventions, which mimic this natural process, have potential uses in routine health care, and in coping with diseases that currently have no known treatment, as well as in treating victims of biological warfare