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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address CHB 303 Zip 0011
Phone 205-934-5316
Other websites

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Pediatrics   Ped - Infectious Disease Professor Distinguished
Secondary  Medicine  Med - Div of Human Gene Therapy Associate Professor
Secondary  Medicine  Med - Infectious Diseases Professor
Secondary  Microbiology  Microbiology Professor
Secondary  Surgery   Surgery - Neurosurgery (Org Ret) Professor
Center  Center for AIDS Research  Center for AIDS Research Professor Distinguished
Center  Center for Biophysical Sciences/Engineering  Center for Biophysical Sciences/Engineering Professor Distinguished
Center  Civitan International Research Center  Civitan International Research Center Professor Distinguished
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Professor Distinguished
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Ctr for Clinical & Translational Sci Professor Distinguished
Center  Medicine  Gene Therapy Center Professor Distinguished

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Cellular and Molecular Biology Program 
Hughes Med-Grad Fellowship Program 
Medical Scientist Training Program 

Biographical Sketch 
Dr. Whitley 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; Director, UAB Center for Emerging Drug Discovery; 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 the University of Alabama at Birmingham.He has published over 337 articles. He participates in numerous Data Safety and Monitoring Boards for ongoing clinical studies. In June of 2009, he was tapped to serve as a member of the Novel H1N1 Influenza Working Group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). He is a past President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and received the UAB President's Medal in 2007. He has recently been named as the inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Clinical Research Scholar and Educator in Residence at the NIH Clinical Center, and will be in residence in mid-February of 2013.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
American Society of Clinical Investigation     
American Society of Microbiology     
Association of American Physicians     
Infectious Diseases Society of America  Past President    
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society     

Research/Clinical Interest
Our studies focus on three specific areas of infectious diseases. First, our group is responsible for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Collaborative Antiviral Study Group (NIAID-CASG). Through the NIAID-CASG we perform clinical trials of antiviral therapies directed against medically important viral diseases of children and adults. These include studies of neonatal herpes simplex virus infection, herpes simplex encephalitis, herpes zoster, enteroviral infections of the newborn, therapeutic interventions for congenital cytomegalovirus infections, hepatitis C, and respiratory virus diseases in the immunocompromised host. Work in these areas includes protocol design, assessment of efficacy and toxicity endpoints, application of contemporary clinical trial methodology and monitoring principals, and evaluation of biologic specimens obtained from volunteers in these studies. Specimens and data allow for the clarification of the natural history of these infections. Furthermore, the unique application of polymerase chain reaction assays provides quantitative, online assessment of clearance of virus with the administration of an antiviral agent. Such probes are also used to study specific viruses obtained from these patients as it relates to tissue tropism and reactivation. The second series of studies utilizes herpes simplex for gene therapy. Active investigations are resulting in the engineering of herpes simplex virus for gene therapy of brain and liver tumors and vaccine development. Herpes simplex has been identified both for direct oncolytic effects as well as a vector for foreign gene expression. Foreign genes expressed in herpes simplex by our laboratory include cytokines, enzymes, receptors, angiostatin and endostatin. These viruses are used to probe disease pathogenesis in animal model systems. Furthermore, from a translation perspective, two viruses are being developed for administration to humans. The third area of interest is the development of antiviral drugs to treat orthopox virus infections. These studies involve coordinating the team efforts of crystallographers, in vitro and in vivo antiviral testing and iterative medicinal chemistry.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Kimberlin DW, Whitley RJ, Wan W, Powell DA, Storch G, Ahmed A, Palmer A, Sanchez PJ, Jacobs RF, Bradley JS, Robinson JL, Shelton M, Dennehy PH, Leach C, Rathore M, Abughali N, Wright P, Frenkel LM, Brady RC, Van Dyke R, Weinier LB, Guzman-Cottrill J, McCarthy CA, Griffin J, Jester P, Parker M, Lakeman FD, Kuo H, Lee C, Cloud GA for the National Institiute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Collaborative Antiviral Study Group: Oral acyclovir suppression and neurodevelopment after neonatal herpes. NEJM 365(14): 1284-1292, October, 2011. PMID21991950, PMC3250992, NIHMS338805.  21991950 
Acosta EP,Jester P, Gal P, Wimmer J, Wade J, Whitley RJ, Kimberlin DW. Oseltamivir dosing for influenza infection in premature neonates. JID, 202(4):563-566, March 2010. PMID20594104, PMC2904429.  20594104 
Whitley RJ, Volpi A, McKendrick M, van Wijck A, Oaklander AL. Management of herpes zoster and PHN, now and in the future. J Clin Virol, 48(S1): S20-28, April 2010.  20510264 
Kimberlin DW, Shalabi M, Abzug MJ, Lang D, Jacobs RF, Storch G, Bradley JS, Wade K, Ramilo O, Romero JR, Shelton M, Leach C, Guzman-Cottrill J, Robinson J, Abughali N, Englund J, Griffin J, Jester P, Cloud GA, Whitley RJ, for the NIAID Collaborative Antiviral Study Group. Safety of oseltamivir compared with adamantanes in children less than 12 months of age. Ped Inf Dis, 29:195-198, 2010. PMID19949363  19949363 
James SH, Kimberlin DW, Whitley RJ. Antiviral therapy for herpesvirus CNS infections: Neonatal herpes simplex virus infection, herpes simplex encephalitis, and congenital cytomegalovirus infection. Antiviral Research, 83: 207-213, 2009.  19414035 
Markert JM, Liechty PG, Wenquan W, Gaston S, Braz E, Karrusch M, Nabors LB, Markiewicz M, Lakeman F, Palmer CA, Parker JN, Whitley RJ, Gillespie GY. Phase Ib Trial of Mutant Herpes Simplex Virus G207 Inoculated Pre- and Post Tumor Resection for Recurrent GBM. Molecular Therapy. 17(1): 199-207, Jan 2009.

Kimberlin D, Acosta EP, Sanchez PJ, Sood S, Agrawal V, Homans J, Jacobs RF, Lang D, Romero JR, Griffin J, Cloud GA, Lakeman FD, Whitley RJ for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Collaborative Antiviral Study Group: A pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic assessment of oral valganciclovir in the treatment of symptomatic congenital CMV disease. J. Infect Dis., 197: 836-845, 2008.  18279073 
Kimberlin DW, Whitley RJ. Clinical Therapeutics: Varicella-Zoster Vaccine for the Prevention of Herpes Zoster. N. Engl J. Med 356; 13, 1338-1343, March 2007.  17392303 
Everts M, Knight WB, Harris DR, Secrist JA III, Whitley RJ. The Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance: a collaborative partnership to facilitate academic drug discovery. Pharm Res. 28(7): 1454-9, July 2011.   
Kimberlin DW, Acosta EP, Prichard MN, Sanchez PJ, Ampofo K, Lang D, Ashouri N, Vanchiere JA, Abzug MJ, Abughali N, Caserta MT, Englund JA, Sood SK, Spigarelli MG, Bradley JS, Lew J, Michaels MG, Wan W, Cloud G, Jester P, Lakeman F, Whitley RJ. Oseltamivir pharmacokinetics, dosing, and resistance in children from birth to two years of age with influenza. J Infect Dis Advanced Access (2012) doi: 10.1093/infdis/jis765 First published online: December 10, 2012   

Herpes simplex virus; varicella zoster virus; orthopox viruses; cytomegalovirus