Dharam Ablashi

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Dharam V. Ablashi (born October 8, 1931) is an American biomedical researcher born in India. He is best known for his co-discovery of Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), an immunosuppressive and neurotropic virus that can cause encephalitis and seizures during a primary infection or when reactivated from latency in immunosuppressed patients.[1] He has contributed more than 95 papers on HHV-6; most of which appeared in top medical journals and has authored or co-authored over 300 journal articles on herpes viruses. He is internationally known for his research on Human and Simian herpesviruses and has also been a major contributor to research in HIV, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the field of immunovirology.

Ablashi co-founded the American Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or AACFS (which is now called IACFS/ME) and recently finished a term as President.[2] He also co-founded the International Association for Research on Epstein-Barr Virus and Associated Diseases and served for many years as Secretary, Treasurer and on the Board of Directors. Ablashi is the current Scientific Director of the HHV-6 Foundation and a reviewer for professional journals in microbiology and virology.

Ablashi was born in Lahore, India (now in Pakistan) and earned his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at Panjab University Veterinary College. He then received his Diploma in Bacteriology from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute before moving to the United States, where he earned his Master of Science degree in Pathology and Virology at the University of Rhode Island. After completing his post doctorate fellowship in the Department of Animal Pathology at the University of Rhode Island, Ablashi continued as a Research Associate at URI for one more year before working at Cobb Breeding Corporation as a microbiologist studying Marek's disease of chickens, caused by a herpes virus, and later at Flow Laboratories in Rockville, Maryland to study human cytomegalovirus.

HHV-6 Research[edit]

Dharam Ablashi (1986)

In 1969, Ablashi became a researcher at the National Cancer Institute, NIH. In 1986, while working in Dr. Robert Gallo’s lab, Ablashi, S. Zaki Salahuddin and Gallo together discovered HHV-6; later found to cause Roseola, an infantile disease.[3] He retired from NCI in 1992, but continued serving as an Adjunct Professor of Microbiology at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He co-edited three books on Human Herpesvirus 6 [4] and served as a consultant to various biomedical companies; as well as NASA, W.H.O. and the United Nations. In 1994 he became Senior Scientist and then Director of Herpesvirus Programs at Advanced Biotechnologies, Inc. and Coordinator of DNA virus studies in the laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Virology at the National Cancer Institute.

In 2004, Ablashi became the first Scientific Director of the HHV-6 Foundation. In 2005, he established the first ever extensive HHV-6 & 7 repository of reagents at the HHV-6 Foundation with the help of generous biospecimen donations from his international colleagues.[5] The Foundation makes these reagents available to any scientist and helps researchers interested in studying HHV-6 by offering pilot grants and consulting on HHV-6 matters.

Awards[edit]

Among the many distinguished awards received by Ablashi are the IACFS Rudy Perpich Memorial Achievement Award in 2007,[6] Achievement Award from New Jersey CFS Association Inc. in 2007, Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Conference on HHV-6 and HHV-7 in Barcelona, Spain in 2006, Achievement Award from the International Conference on HHV-6, HHV-7 and HHV-8 in Paris, France in 2001 and the Fogarty International Fellow in 1973 to work at the W.H.O. Cancer Agency in Lyon, France.

Ablashi has been a member of many professional societies, e.g. American Association for Cancer Research, American Society for Microbiology, International EBV Association and IACFS Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine. He is also the co-inventor of three U.S. patents.

Select Publications[edit]

  • Ablashi DV, Devin CL, Yoshikawa T, Lautenschlager I, Luppi M, Kuhl U, Komaroff AL. Human Herpesvirus-6 in Multiple Non-Neurological Diseases. J Med Virol. in press 2010.
  • Arbuckle JH, Medveczky MM, Luka J, Hadley SH, Luegmayr A, Ablashi D, Lund TC, Tolar J, De Meirleir K, Montoya JG, Komaroff AL, Ambros PF, Medveczky PG. The latent human herpesvirus 6A genome specifically integrates in telomeres of human chromosomes in vivo and in vitro. Proc Natl Sci USA. 107: 5563-5568. 2010.
  • Higashimoto Y, Ohta A, Nishiyama Y, Ihira M, et al. Development of a human herpesvirus 6 species-specific immunoblotting assay. J Clin Microbiol. 2012 Apr;50(4):1245-51, 2012
  • Pellett PE, Ablashi DV, Ambros PF, Agut H, et al. Chromosomally integrated human herpesvirus 6: questions and answers. Rev Med Virol. 2012 May;22(3):144-55. doi: 10.1002/rmv.715.
  • Arbuckle JH, Pantry SN, Medveczky MM, et al. Mapping the telomere integrated genome of human herpesvirus 6A and 6B. Virology. 2013 Jul 20;442(1):3-11. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2013.03.030.
  • Gravel A, Ablashi D, Flamand L et al. Complete Genome Sequence of Early Passaged Human Herpesvirus 6A (GS Strain) Isolated from North America. Genome Announc. 2013 Jun 13;1(3). pii: e00012-13. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00012-13.
  • Pantry SN, Medveczky MM, Arbuckle JH, et al. Persistent human herpesvirus-6 infection in patients with an inherited form of the virus. J Med Virol. 2013 Nov;85(11):1940-6. doi: 10.1002/jmv.23685.

Select Books[edit]

  • Persistent Herpesvirus Infections. Current techniques for diagnosis, G.R.F. Krueger, D.V. Ablashi, and R.C. Gallo. J. Virological Methods, Volume 21, 1988.
  • Human Herpesvirus-6: Epidemiology, Molecular Biology, and Clinical Pathology, D.V. Ablashi, G.R.F. Krueger, and S.Z. Salahuddin (editors), 1992. Published by Elsevier Science Publishers, B.V. Amsterdam-New York-Oxford.
  • Human Herpesvirus HHV-6A, HHV-6B AND HHV-7, L. Flamand, I. Lautenschlager, G.R.F. Krueger, D.V. Ablashi. Published by Elsevier Science Publishers, B.V. (in press)
  • Human Herpesvirus-6 Diagnosis and Clinical Management (2nd Edition) 2006, edited by G.R.F. Krueger and D.V. Ablashi, 1996. Published by Elsevier Science Publishers, B.V.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Salahuddin, S.Z., Ablashi, D.V., Markham, P.D., Josephs, S.F., Sturzenegger, S., Kaplan, M., Halligan, G., Biberfeld, P., Wong-Staal, F., Kramarsky, B., and Gallo, R.C.: Isolation of a new virus, HBLV, in patients with lymphoproliferative disorders. Science 234:596-601, 1986
  2. ^ IACFS/ME (http://www.iacfsme.org/FacultyBiographies/tabid/146/Default.aspx).
  3. ^ Yamanishi, K, Okuno, T, Shiraki, K, Takahashi, M, Kondo, T, Asano, Y., Kurata, T. Identification of human herpesvirus-6 as a causal agent for exanthem subitem. Lancet 331:1065-1067, 1988.
  4. ^ Human Herpesvirus-6. G.R.F.Krueger and D.V. Ablashi (editors), 2006. Published by Elsevier Science Publishers, B.V.Amsterdam – New York-Oxford.
  5. ^ HHV-6 Foundation (http://www.hhv-6foundation.org/repository.htm)
  6. ^ IACFS/ME ("Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-01-03. Retrieved 2009-01-07. )