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(Last updated 10/810)

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NOTE TO PRODUCERS: Ohio State University has opened a new broadcast studio with Vyvx and ISDN technology, allowing us to provide quick connectivity to university researchers.  To schedule an expert, please call Joe Camoriano, (614) 378-6478, camoriano.1@osu.edu.

Previous stories pertaining to Professor Lairmore's research:

"Viral Protein Helps Infected T Cells Stick To Uninfected Cells," 4/20/06.

"Cancer Virus Protein Needed For Successful Infection," 3/31/06.

"Viral Protein Influences Key Cell-Signaling Pathway," 4/26/05.

"Researchers Find Viral Protein That Mimics Its Way Into Cells," 4/29/03.

"Synthetic Peptides Offer New Approach To Making Viral Vaccines," 3/28/96.

[Embargoed for release until 10 AM ET October 11, 2010 to coincide with announcement from the National Academy of Sciences.]


COLUMBUS, Ohio – A noted virologist, cancer researcher and veterinarian has been named to the prestigious national Institute of Medicine, one of the highest honors awarded to scientists in the biomedical fields.

Michael Lairmore, associate dean for research and graduate studies and professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State University, was named a member of the IOM in ceremonies today in Washington, DC.

Michael Lairmore

E. Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State said, “Dr. Lairmore is a prime example of the exceptional caliber of researchers working on our campus.  His current research, as well as work accomplished in the past, has brought great benefit to the people of Ohio, the nation and the world.”

Lairmore, a key researcher in Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, came to the university in 1990 after heading the Human T-lymphotropic Virus (HTLV) Reference Laboratory at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.  While there, he focused on the linkages between human T-cell leukemia viruses and specific diseases, including some forms of cancer.

Caroline Whitacre, vice president for research, said, “This is a tremendous honor for Mike, the College of Veterinary
Medicine, and The Ohio State University.  Mike exemplifies the highest level of scientific accomplishment in his career as a retrovirus researcher.

“He has also had a lasting impact on future generations of researchers in his role as a graduate student and post-doc mentor, department chair, and associate dean."  Lairmore has served as principal advisor and mentor to more than 25 doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers during his career.

Lairmore’s research has focused on the biology of human retroviruses, including the roles some viruses play in the onset of certain types of cancer.  He developed one of the first animal models for AIDS-associated pediatric pneumonia, facilitating studies aimed at treating that serious ailment.

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"I am very honored and humbled to be elected to the Institute of Medicine.  My accomplishments in science and medicine were supported by outstanding mentors in my past, colleagues and friends, and students who I have enjoyed teaching.”

His research has received nearly continuous support from the National Institutes of Health, totaling nearly $30 million during his career.  He has published more than 170 scientific papers, many in some of the country’s most prestigious research journals.

"I am very honored and humbled to be elected to the Institute of Medicine.  My accomplishments in science and medicine were supported by outstanding mentors in my past, colleagues and friends, and students who I have enjoyed teaching,” Lairmore said.

“As the first person in my family to attend college, I am particularly moved knowing how lucky I am to have contributed in some small way to the biomedical research.  I also realize that I would have not been in this position without the love and support of my family."

“This is a great recognition of an important research career,” said Lonnie King, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “His work serves as a bridge between important research entities in health science at Ohio State including the James Cancer Center and Solove Research Institute and the College of Veterinary Medicine. This honor brings credit to his research as well as the college and the university.”

Lairmore was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2004 and is a member of the American Society of Hematology, American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Virology, American College of Veterinary Microbiologists, International Retrovirology Society, American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Society of Microbiology.

Established in 1970, the IOM is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, which was chartered under President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It has expanded into what is collectively known as the National Academies, which comprises the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Research Council, and the IOM.

Along with Lairmore, five other faculty at Ohio State are members of the Institute of Medicine.


Contact:  Mike Lairmore, 614-292-9203, Michael.Lairmore@cvm.osu.edu.
Written by Earle Holland, 614-292-8384; holland.8@osu.edu.