Sunil K. Ahuja

46, infectious-diseases expert, San Antonio
Sunil K. Ahuja

The mysteries of AIDS are starting to unravel in the laboratory of this professor of medicine, microbiology, immunology, and biochemistry at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. Working with, among others, Dr. Matthew Dolan, formerly of the Wilford Hall Medical Center, at Lackland Air Force Base, Ahuja has helped identify the ways in which a person’s genetic makeup can influence the risk of contracting HIV or delay or accelerate the progression of HIV to AIDS. He’s also begun to understand how gene mutations account for the progression of HIV to AIDS in European, Hispanic, and African Americans. The upshot of this groundbreaking research is that HIV drugs and vaccines could one day be tailored to a genetic profile. Just as significantly, Ahuja’s work also challenges the notion that the amount of HIV in the blood is what influences susceptibility to AIDS. Praised as a peerless teacher and recruiter of researchers and faculty, Ahuja has degrees from the Armed Forces Medical College, in his native India, and the University of Alberta, in Canada, and trained at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; the famed immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci

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