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Prof. Karl Hostetler '61 Honored by by the International Society of Antiviral Research

Prof. Karl Hostetler '61 Honored by by the International Society of Antiviral Research

April 17, 2012

Karl Y. Hostetler, M.D., a 1961 graduate of DePauw University, has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Gertrude Elion Memorial Lecture Award by the International Society of Antiviral Research.  Hostetler is a professor of medicine in the Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Endocrinology at the University of California - San Diego School of Medicine.

Each year the Elion Memorial Lecture Award is given to a scientist of international repute who has made significant contributions to the field of antiviral research and to mentoring of young scientists. The award will be presented during the International Conference on Antiviral Research in Sapporo, Japan on April 16. 

"I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Elion at Burroughs Wellcome early in my career while developing an alternate version of AZT," recalls Dr. Hostetler, who majored in chemistry at DePauw. "I am deeply gratified to receive the 2012 Gertrude Elion Memorial Award on behalf of myself, my coworkers and the UC - San Diego School of Medicine."

Hostetler is an international expert in the design, synthesis and evaluation of novel orally active antivirals for poxviruses such as smallpox, monkeypox, cowpox, and ectromelia as well as for cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, and other double stranded DNA viruses.  He has also advanced the discovery and development of high potency antiretrovirals for drug-resistant HIV. He is a founder of three biotech companies, Vical Inc., Triangle Pharmaceuticals, and Chimerix Inc., which are dedicated to developing lifesaving drugs in the treatment of serious viral infections and cancer.  Hostetler holds 43 U.S. patents and has published more than 160 peer-reviewed scientific articles.

Hostetler’s lecture will recount the discovery of novel antiviral agents using a patented lipid conjugation technique to create AIDS drugs which are more potent, East College shade xzactive against a broad range of drug resistant HIV variants, and require infrequent dosing. 

"Dr. Elion discovered acyclovir, the first commercially successful antiviral, for which she received the Nobel Prize in 1988," notes Hostetler.  "The development of this drug was followed by a large number of new antiviral agents which have profoundly improved the treatment of AIDS, hepatitis B and C."  

Hostetler earned his medical degree from the Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at University Hospitals of Cleveland and a fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He currently serves as director of the Endocrinology Clinic at the San Diego Veterans Administration Medical Center and is an associate member of the UC - San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

Learn more about Professor Hostetler in this previous story.