Don Ganem: Biography

Don Ganem joined the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research in Emeryville, California as Vice President and Global Head of Infectious Diseases in 2011. His research group focuses on understanding and developing better treatments for viral, bacterial and fungal infections in normal and immunocompromised individuals.

While an undergraduate student at Harvard, Ganem did research in bacterial genetics with James Watson. Although he enjoyed the challenges of lab work, Ganem decided to pursue a medical degree and he received his MD and completed his training at Harvard. He then moved to the University of California, San Francisco where he studied the Hepatitis B virus as a post-doctoral fellow with Harold Varmus.

Ganem joined the faculty of UCSF in 1982 and became an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1991. He continued to study HBV for 15 years before focusing his research on KSHV. Results from his lab were pivotal in identifying KSHV as the causative agent of Kaposi’s sarcoma. Ganem was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2003, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004, and the National Academy of Sciences in 2010.

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