Associate Director for Drug Discovery and Development
Richard Whitley, M.D., is a Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, Professor of Microbiology, Medicine and Neurosurgery; Loeb Eminent Scholar Chair in Pediatrics; Co-Director, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases; Vice-Chair, Department of Pediatrics; Senior Scientist, Department of Gene Therapy; Scientist, Cancer Research and Training Center; Faculty, Gene Therapy Center; Associate Director for Drug Discovery and Development and Senior Leader, Pediatric Oncology Program, Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Co-Founder and Co-Director, Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance.
Dr. Whitley is responsible for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Collaborative Antiviral Study Group whose role is to perform clinical trials of antiviral therapies directed against medically important viral diseases of children and adults including viruses considered as threats to human health. Dr. Whitley’s other research interest is in the translation of molecular biology to clinical application, particularly in the development of human monoclonal antibodies for therapy of herpesvirus infections and engineering of herpes simplex virus for gene therapy. In these latter studies, he and his colleagues have engineered herpes simplex virus to serve as a vector for foreign gene expression.
He received his B.A. in chemistry from Duke University and his M.D. from the George Washington University. He subsequently completed an internship in pediatrics and a fellowship in infectious diseases/virology at UAB. He has published more than 347 articles. He participates in numerous Data Safety and Monitoring Boards for ongoing clinical studies. He is a past President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and received the UAB President’s Medal in 2007. In 2013, he was named as the inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Clinical Research Scholar and Educator in Residence at the NIH Clinical Center.