Hillel Haim, MD, PhD, joins Department of Microbiology faculty

The Department of Microbiology is pleased to welcome Hillel Haim, MD, PhD, as a new Assistant Professor. Dr. Haim will participate in teaching virology to graduate students, professional students, and undergraduates in the Department of Microbiology.

Dr. Haim received his M.D. from Hebrew University in 2000 and his Ph.D. from Hebrew University in 2006. He moved to The University of Iowa from Professor J. Sodroski's laboratory at Harvard University, where he had been a postdoctoral fellow since 2006. Professor Sodroski's laboratory is internationally recognized for their work in the field of human retroviruses and HIV.

Dr. Haim performed his graduate work with two mentors, Professor A. Panet and Professor I. Steiner, working with both HIV and HSV. He co-authored 4 high quality peer-reviewed manuscripts published in the Journal of Virology related to this research. Additionally, he co-authored one book chapter during this time.

Upon completion of his medical and graduate degree studies, Dr. Haim pursued research in HIV in Dr. Sodroski’s laboratory, where he co-authored 7 peer-reviewed manuscripts on the structural basis of the interaction of antibodies (and other molecules) with HIV envelope glycoproteins. These manuscripts include superb papers published in journals such as PLoS Pathogens, Journal of Virology, and Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. The important principle behind these studies is that there are likely to be regions of the HIV envelope trimer that will not vary substantially in order to maintain structural integrity, whereas there are other regions that can vary significantly over time. Dr. Haim has already documented that this occurs. The significance of these studies is that humans may be able to develop protective antibody responses to the nonvarying regions once thoroughly characterized, but this is unlikely to occur with the highly varying regions. Dr. Haim will continue to pursue this work as an Assistant Professor here at The University of Iowa and has already initiated collaborative studies with Dr. Jack Stapleton, who has an important historical collection of serum samples.