Co-Director of the DC CFAR: Gary Simon, MD, PhD, MACP

Dr. Gary Simon Picture
December 01, 2015

Gary Simon, MD, PhD, MACP, is the Walter G. Ross Professor of Clinical Research, Chief of Infectious Diseases and Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the George Washington University.  Having completed his resident training in internal medicine and infectious disease training at Tufts-New England Medical Center in 1980, Dr. Simon joined the faculty at GW.  One year later, he diagnosed the first patient to be identified in Washington with this new entity, AIDS.  Dr. Simon felt that the questions that were raised by this new disease were far more interesting than any other area of medicine.   It rapidly became clear that this disease “was the plague of the 20th century.”  “The complexities of HIV made it unique and the consequences and complications of the infection were and continue to be truly intriguing.”  Initial therapies were limited to futile attempts to improve the immune system in these patients who were profoundly immunologically deficient.  However, in the late 1980s, a new viral agent, AZT, came on the scene.  Since then, the infectious disease group has studied virtually every compound that has been used for the treatment of HIV infection. 

Dr. Simon received a bachelor of science in chemistry from the University of Maryland and a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin.  He completed medical school and residency in internal medicine at the University of Maryland before traveling to Boston for his fellowship.  Now the Co-Director of the DC CFAR, Dr. Simon is largely interested in the interaction between the host and HIV and Hepatitis C. His research is focused on the immune response of HIV, HIV and aging, co-infection of HIV and Hepatitis C.  Future areas of investigation include host cell genomics and HIV and aging.

As Co-Director of the CFAR, Dr. Simon looks to create an environment where investigators have the opportunity to focus their interests in HIV with access to the resources and support they need to be competitive for NIH funding.  His ultimate goal is to expand the scope of the CFAR to foster research in all areas of HIV and encourage collaboration among those in the research  community who are active in the fight against this virus.