Advances in Clinical Practice and Applications

  • Development of new vaccines against important bacterial infections of infants and children, including Hemophilus influenzae type B, pertussis, and typhoid.

  • Development of a curative therapy for cystinosis, an inborn error of metabolism.

  • Discovery of AZT as an effective agent against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV or AIDS virus).

Achievements in Basic Science with Potential for Clinical Application in the Near Future

  • Discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to be the cause of AIDS.

  • Determination of the molecular defects in various types of abnormal lipoprotein metabolism.

  • Discovery of an oncogene that led to the identification of the gene for cystic fibrosis and of another oncogene that codes for a growth factor.

  • Discovery of the toxic effects of the enzyme, aldose reductase, in diabetes. Such effects probably underlie the complications of diabetes, such as blindness and nerve damage. Inhibitors of the toxic enzyme have been developed and are now in clinical trials.

Achievements in Basic Science

  • Characterization of different types of the protein phospholipase C, important in signal transduction mechanisms in cells, and demonstration that the sub-types of this protein are differentially present in specific cells and tissues.

  • Development of recombinant DNA techniques, the first cloning of a mammalian gene.

  • First demonstration of the molecular basis of antibody diversity.

  • Discovery of interleukin-2, which is produced by a certain immune system cells called T lymphocytes; interleukin-2 also promotes the proliferation of T lynphocytes.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement