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John C. Guatelli

John Guatelli


  • M.D.

Current Position(s): 

  • Professor of Medicine

Personal Statement: 

Dr. Guatelli is a basic biomedical scientist researching the molecular virology of HIV-1. He is also a physician who provides primary care to HIV-infected persons and consultation in general infectious disease. He has an established basic research laboratory that focuses on two HIV-1 proteins, Nef and Vpu. Over Dr. Guatelli's 28-year career in molecular virology, he and his laboratory have made several key findings, including the development of a novel method to amplify and detect HIV-1 RNA, the observation that the Nef protein enhances the infectivity of HIV-1 virus particles, and that the Vpu protein counteracts the innate host restriction factor BST2, an interferon-induced protein. Dr. Guatelli's lab’s research repertoire has progressed from molecular virology to include the cell biology and structural basis of viral replication and immune evasion. Dr. Guatelli and his team have the technical expertise, reagents, facilities, equipment, and collaborative relationships to dissect how viral proteins co-opt or antagonize cellular proteins and pathways to defeat host defenses and maintain persistent infection. He has supervised the research of trainees at all levels: undergraduate and graduate students as well as post-doctoral trainees with M.D., Ph.D., or both degrees. Most of these trainees have current careers in academic, government, or industrial biomedical research.

Dr. Guatelli has contributed to teaching and mentoring in multiple academic venues including undergraduate, graduate, medical, and post-doctoral programs, including the training of physician-scientists. He is an associate director of the UCSD Physician Scientist Training Pathway and a faculty member of the proposed UCSD T32 training grant “Research in Infectious Disease.”  Dr. Guatelli directed the UCSD School of Medicine preclinical course in microbiology for eight years, a course of over twenty faculty and 100 student contact hours. He chaired the UCSD Institutional Biosafety Committee for seven years. Each of these research, teaching, mentoring, and administrative experiences has prepared him to lead the T32 training program proposed herein and to coordinate its activities with those of the other training programs with which Dr. Guatelli is affiliated at UCSD.

Professional History:

  • 1978 - 1979       Staff Research Associate, University of California, San Francisco, CA

  • 1979 - 1980       Graduate Study, University of Colorado, CO

  • 1984 - 1987       Clinical training in Internal Medicine, University of California, San Diego, CA

  • 1987 - 1991       Fellowship in Infectious Diseases, University of California, San Diego, CA

  • 1989 - 1991       Associate Investigator, VA San Diego Healthcare System, CA

  • 1992 - 1995       Research Associate, VA San Diego Healthcare System, CA

  • 1992 - 1997       Assistant Adjunct Professor of Medicine, University of California San Diego, CA

  • 1996 - Present  Staff Physician, VA San Diego Healthcare System, CA

  • 1996 - Present  Research Scientist, Veterans Medical Research Foundation, CA

  • 1997 - 2006       Associate Professor of Medicine, University of California San Diego, CA

  • 2006 - Present  Professor of Medicine, University of California San Diego, CA


  • University of Colorado, Boulder, CO B.A.    1978    Molecular & Cellular Biology

  • University of California, San Diego, CA.      1984    Medicine

Awards and Honors: 

  • 1978                  Phi Beta Kappa

  • 1989                  Career Development Award (Associate Investigator), Dept. of Veterans Affairs

  • 1992                  Career Development Award (Research Associate), Dept. of Veterans Affairs

  • 2007-2011        NIH Study Section Member: AIDS Molecular and Cellular Biology

  • 2013-present   NIH MERIT Award

  • 2015-present   NIH NIAID DAIDS Advisory Council Member

National/Global Website: National Center for Biotechnology Information

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