Joseph "Mike" McCune, MD, PhD
Chief, UCSF Division of Experimental Medicine
After post-doctoral work at Stanford in the Department of Pathology in 1988, Dr. McCune was a founder and the chief executive officer of SyStemix, Inc., where he then served as vice president, research and development, until 1991. Thereafter and until his move to the UCSF-affiliated Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology in 1995, he was vice president of the New Enterprise Research Division, an exploratory research group; a member of the Partnership Committee of Progenesys, a joint venture that he founded between SyStemix and Sandoz aimed at developing hematopoietic stem cell–based gene therapies for HIV disease; and a clinical associate at UCSF working at the San Francisco General Hospital AIDS clinic.
Dr. McCune's research focuses on the definition of pathogenic mechanisms of viral diseases, particularly HIV-1 disease. This focus has spanned a range of fields, from understanding critical structural determinants of infectivity (McCune et al., Cell 1988) to devising a small animal model (the SCID-hu Thy/Liv mouse) to study HIV pathogenesis and to prioritize antiretroviral compounds against HIV (McCune et al., Science 1988a, 1988b, 1990) to studying mechanisms of T cell depletion and repletion in vivo (Bonyhadi et al., Nature 1993; Su et al., Immunity 1995; Komanduri et al., Nature Medicine 1998; Hellerstein et al., Nature Medicine 1998; Stoddart et al., Nature Medicine 2001; McCune Nature 2001).
Throughout this body of work, he has engaged in hypothesis-driven, patient-oriented research that involves collaborative teams of basic scientists, translational researchers, and clinicians. Most recently, and as a consequence of a sabbatical year at the Institut Pasteur (2003-2004), he has devoted all of his attention to understanding the correlates of protective immunity against HIV, with the specific intent to work with others to develop an effective vaccine. This change of focus has now been materialized at UCSF by the creation of the Division of Experimental Medicine, of which Dr. McCune is the chief.
Dr. McCune’s studies have led to the publication of over 160 peer-reviewed articles, and he is the holder of 20 patents and inventions. He is a member of many scientific and professional societies, including the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Association of Physicians, and the Henry Kunkel Society. He has served on the editorial boards of Virology and the Journal of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. He was awarded the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Scientist Award in 1996, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Clinical Scientist Award in Translational Research in 2000, a MERIT Award from the NIH in 2001, and the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award in 2004.