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FLOSSIE WONG-STAAL, PHD

Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal is an internationally recognized leader in virology and one of the pioneers in AIDS research. She is the Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer for Genomics at Immusol, which was rebranded as iTherX Pharmaceuticals in 2002 to reflect its transition to an HCV focus. She earned her Ph.D. in molecular biology in 1972 from UCLA. In 1973, Dr. Wong-Staal moved to Bethesda, Maryland to work at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to pursue then-new molecular biology techniques that revealed the workings of cells at the molecular and genetic level. While there, Dr. Wong-Staal was amongst the first researchers to clone and decipher the HIV genome in 1985 which led to the first genetic map of the virus, allowing for the characterization of the functional proteins of the virus. In 1990, Dr. Wong-Staal joined UC San Diego to continue her AIDS research and became the chairwoman of the newly opened Center for AIDS Research. In 2002, Discover Magazine named Dr. Wong-Staal one of the fifty most extraordinary women scientists. Wong-Staal remains as a Chaired Research Professor of Medicine at UCSD. For her contributions to science, the Institute for Scientific Information named Dr. Wong-Staal the top woman scientist of the 1980s. In 2007, The Daily Telegraph heralded Dr. Wong-Staal as #32 of the "Top 100 Living Geniuses."