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Wong-Staal, Flossie (1946–)

Wong-Staal, Flossie (1946–)

Asian-American geneticist and medical researcher. Name variations: Yee-ching Wong; Yee Ching Wong; Flossie Wong; Flossie Staal. Born Yee Ching Wong, Aug 27, 1946, in Guangzhou, Kwangtung Province, China; dau. of Sueh-fung Wong (cloth exporter-importer); University of California, Los Angeles, bachelor's degree in molecular biology, 1969, PhD, 1972; m. Steven Staal, 1971 (div.); children: Stephanie and Caroline Staal.

Leading AIDS researcher, began career working with Robert Gallo at National Cancer nstitute (1973), where they investigated the possibility of viruses linked to cancer, and eventually discovered 3 similar viruses: human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV), the 1st virus proven to cause human cancer (1981), followed by a virus named HTLV-2, and finally HTLV-3, now known as HIV or human immunodeficiency virus, which was discovered simultaneously by France's Pasteur Institute (1983); researched and was 1st to clone and reveal chemical sequence of HIV's genes (1985); moved to University of California, San Diego (1990) and directed its AIDS research center to develop possible treatments, including inserting gene coding to prevent growth and reproduction of AIDS cells; became chief scientific officer and executive vice president of Research for Immusol, a biopharmaceutical company based in San Diego; co-authored AIDS Vaccine Research (2002) and The Control of Human Retrovirus Gene Expression (1988).

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