Patrick S. Moore

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Patrick Moore
Born (1956-10-21) October 21, 1956 (age 61)
Seattle, Washington
Nationality United States
Known for Discovery of the human cancer viruses KSHV and MCV
Spouse(s) Yuan Chang
Awards Langmuir Prize (1989)
Meyenburg Prize (1997)
Robert Koch Prize (1998)
Mott Prize (2003)
Scientific career
Fields Cancer, Microbiology, Epidemiology
Institutions University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

Patrick S. Moore (born October 21, 1956) is an Irish and American virologist and epidemiologist who co-discovered together with his wife, Yuan Chang, two different human viruses causing the AIDS-related cancer Kaposi's sarcoma and the skin cancer Merkel cell carcinoma. The couple met while in medical school together and were married in 1989 while they pursued fellowships at different universities.

Education and career[edit]

Moore received a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and biology from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, an M.S. degree from Stanford University, and M.D. and MPhil degrees from the University of Utah, and an M.P.H. degree from the University of California, Berkeley. As an epidemiologist working at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), he developed widely used international guidelines to control meningococcal meningitis epidemics and led a team of CDC epidemiologists during the 1992 Somali Civil War. Civilian death rates documented during this civil war-famine were among the highest ever reported.[1] The extreme mortality statistics helped to solidify international support behind the US-led military intervention Operation Restore Hope.[2] He received the CDC Langmuir Prize for his work on epidemic meningitis control.

After leaving the CDC, Moore served briefly as a New York City epidemiologist but quit to search for new human viruses with his wife, Yuan Chang who was then a newly appointed assistant professor at Columbia University.[3] Unemployed, he worked in his wife's laboratory, allowing him to rapidly pick up training in molecular biology. Despite having no research funding, Moore and Chang used a new molecular biology technique, representational difference analysis, to search for a virus causing Kaposi's sarcoma, the most common malignancy among AIDS patients. In 1994, they discovered a new human herpesvirus, KSHV, in a KS tumor and along with several collaborators showed that it was the etiologic agent of Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, and multicentric Castleman's disease. Moore was hired onto the faculty at Columbia and the Chang-Moore Laboratory secured research funding to investigate this new virus. They subsequently sequenced KSHV, identified oncogenes encoded by the virus, demonstrated transmission during transplantation and developed diagnostic tests to detect infection. His laboratory currently seeks to understand the role of tumor virus immunoevasion of the innate immune system as a cause for viral tumorigenesis. In 2002, he moved his laboratory to the University of Pittsburgh where he is the director of the Molecular Virology Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Chang and Moore jointly developed a new technique to find human tumor viruses called digital transcriptome subtraction (DTS).[4] Using this approach, they identified the most recently discovered human polyomavirus infecting Merkel cells. This virus is the likely cause of Merkel-cell carcinoma and hence is named Merkel cell polyomavirus.[5] Moore and Chang have discovered two of the seven known human viruses causing cancer.



  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "1992: American marines land in Somalia". On This Day. BBC. December 9, 1992. Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  3. ^ Schmidt C (April 2008). "Yuan Chang and Patrick Moore: teaming up to hunt down cancer-causing viruses". Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 100 (8): 524–5, 529. doi:10.1093/jnci/djn122. PMID 18398088. 
  4. ^ Feng H, Taylor JL, Benos PV, et al. (October 2007). "Human transcriptome subtraction by using short sequence tags to search for tumor viruses in conjunctival carcinoma". Journal of Virology. 81 (20): 11332–40. doi:10.1128/JVI.00875-07. PMC 2045575Freely accessible. PMID 17686852. 
  5. ^ Feng H, Shuda M, Chang Y, Moore PS (February 2008). "Clonal integration of a polyomavirus in human Merkel cell carcinoma". Science. 319 (5866): 1096–100. doi:10.1126/science.1152586. PMC 2740911Freely accessible. PMID 18202256. 
  6. ^ Spice, Byron (June 10, 2003). "Pitt couple wins top prize for cancer research". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Member Directory: Patrick Moore". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Marjory Stephenson Prize Lecture". Society for General Microbiology. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 

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