Human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1), the causative agent of AIDS, is blamed for over 20 million deaths and is poised to claim 2-3 million lives a year in the absence of efficient therapeutic intervention. HIV-1 encodes a polypeptide called Gag that is capable of forming virus-like particles (VLP) in vitro in the absence of other cellular or viral constituents. During the late phase of infection, HIV-1 Gag polyproteins are transported to the plasma membrane for assembly through an unknown mechanism(s).
Dr Jamil Saad (b. 1973), obtained his B.S degree in Chemistry at Birzeit University in Palestine (1996), M.S degree in Bioinorganic Chemistry at Bergen University in Norway (1998; advisor: Dr. Einar Sletten), and a Ph.D degree in Bioinorganic Chemistry at Emory University in Atlanta (2002; advisor: Dr. Luigi Marzilli). His M.S. and Ph.D studies focused on studying the interactions of cisplatin, a leading anticancer drug, with DNA by using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and other biophysical methods. Dr. Saad's postdoctoral work in Dr. Michael Summers' lab (HHMI, UMBC) focused on the mechanism by which retroviruses are directed to specific cellular membranes for assembly. Dr. Saad joined the UAB faculty in 2007. His outside interests include jogging and soccer.