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  Frank Chisari
Virginia Lawrence | Caminito del Rocio

In this time of crisis, Del Mar is fortunate to have a number of citizens with extraordinary credentials to advise us. Frank Chisari and Don Mosier have offered advice to the City Council about public policy decisions regarding the COVID-19 challenge facing our community and their expertise to DMCC and other community organizations as well.
All of us express our profound gratitude to these two exceptional citizens. -Mayor Ellie Haviland

Francis V. Chisari, M.D. is Emeritus Professor of Virology and Immunology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He received his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College in 1968 and pursued post-graduate training in internal medicine, anatomic pathology, virology, molecular biology and immunology at The New York Hospital, the Mayo Clinic, Dartmouth Medical School, the National Institutes of Health, the Pasteur Institute and The Scripps Research Institute whose faculty he joined in 1975.

Over the next 40 years until he retired from Scripps in 2015, Dr. Chisari directed a large, NIH-funded research group that studied the host-virus interactions that determine the outcome of human viral infections.

Along the way, he trained over 150 young scientists, several of whom are distinguished virologists and immunologists serving as heads of research institutes and Infectious Disease departments currently battling the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, China and the United States.

Dr. Chisari’s research laboratory defined the cellular and molecular characteristics of the immune response to the hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses in infected patients and in a variety of animal models. In the course of those studies, he discovered the immunological basis for viral clearance, inflammation, cirrhosis and liver cancer during these infections.He pioneered the concept that, in addition to killing infected cells, the immune system secretes antiviral cytokines that can purge viruses from infected cells without killing them, forging a fundamental change in our understanding of the host-virus relationship. In the course of these studies, he published over 300 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, numerous textbook chapters, and several national and international patents.
In recognition of his scientific contributions Dr. Chisari has received many honors, awards, and election to membership in several distinguished learned societies, including the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine.



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