Howard E. Gendelman M.D.
University of Nebraska Medical Center

2016 recipient of the
ISNV Pioneer in NeuroVirology Award

The International Society for Neurovirology honors Dr. Howard E. Gendelman with the 2016 Pioneer in NeuroVirology Award. Dr. Gendelman is the Margaret R. Larson Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, and Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disorders at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is credited for unraveling how functional alterations in innate perivascular macrophage-microglial and adaptive T cell immunity induce metabolic changes and ultimately lead to neural cell damage for a broad range of infectious, metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders. These discoveries were made first for HIV-associated dementia where Dr. Gendelman was amongst the first to demonstrate selective production infection of macrophages and microglia and the cell’s abilities to secrete a number of pro-inflammatory and viral toxins during viral replication and immune activation. These findings have had broad implications in developmental therapeutics aimed at preventing, slowing or reversing neural maladies beyond viral infections. He is also credited for the demonstration that AIDS dementia is a reversible metabolic encephalopathy; a finding realized at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. His work has led to novel immunotherapy and nanomedicine strategies for Parkinson’s and viral diseases being tested in early clinical trials following intense translational investigations. His work has transformed a number of antiretroviral drugs by modification and polymer encasement now being developed for clinical use as long acting medicines.

Dr. Gendelman obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences and Russian Studies with honors from Muhlenberg College and his M.D. from the Pennsylvania State University-Hershey Medical Center where he was the 1999 Distinguished Alumnus. He completed a residency in Internal medicine at Montefiore Hospital, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and was a Clinical and Research Fellow in Neurology and Infectious Diseases at the Johns Hopkins University Medical Center. He occupied senior faculty and research positions at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Center, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and the Henry Jackson Foundation for the Advancement in Military Medicine before joining the University of Nebraska Medical Center faculty in March of 1993. He retired from the US Army with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Dr. Gendelman has authored over 450 peer-reviewed publications, edited nine books and monographs, holds eight patents, is the Editor-In-Chief and Founder of the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology along with service on numerous editorial boards, national and international scientific review and federal and state committees. He has been an invited lecturer to more than 200 scientific seminars and symposia and the recipient of numerous local, national and international honors. These, include, but are not limited to, the Henry L. Moses Award in Basic Science; the Carter-Wallace Fellow for Distinction in AIDS Research, the David T. Purtilo Distinguished Chair of Pathology and Microbiology, the UNMC Scientist Laureate; NU Outstanding Research and Creativity, 2013 UNMC Innovator of the Year, the 2014 Outstanding Faculty Mentor of Graduate Students and the Joseph Wybran Distinguished Scientist Awards. Dr. Gendelman was named a J. William Fulbright Research Scholar at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and has received the prestigious Jacob Javits Neuroscience Research Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Career Research Award in Medicine from the Department of Internal Medicine.

He is included amongst a selective scientific group listed on highly as one of the top cited scientists in his field. Dr. Gendelman has trained more than fifty-one scientists (students and postdoctoral fellows) who have themselves developed independent successful careers with several who are chairs of departments. Under his leadership, the department now holds scores of independent R01s or equivalent grants, four program project grants, and shares two program developmental awards. His leadership is credited with the growth of the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience at the University of Nebraska Medical Center to be amongst the top-like ranked and federally funded departments (top ten) nationwide; a particularly noted feat as its position was 89 when he assumed its leadership.