OCTOBER 12 - DR. FLOSSIE WONG-STAAL
In 1985, two years after determining that HIV was the cause of AIDS, Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal became the first scientist in history to clone and genetically map the virus. Her groundbreaking work made it possible to develop HIV tests, and throughout the 1990s, she would continue research on the topic at the University of California at San Diego (where she would eventually become the chair of their Center for AIDS Research).
While working at UCSD, Wong-Staal co-founded the biopharmaceutical company Immusol, and in 2002, she would move on to become their Chief Scientific Officer. Her focus then shifted to developing improved drugs for the treatment of Hepatitis C, and to reflect this transition, the company’s name was changed to iTherX Pharmaceuticals.