(Philadelphia, PA) - William J. Swiggard, MD, PhD, has been named Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

After receiving a BS in Chemistry from George Mason University, Dr. Swiggard went on to complete his education at The Rockefeller University in New York, earning a PhD in Immunology in 1995. In 1996, he obtained his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Swiggard served his internship, residency and Infectious Diseases fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Swiggard's research focuses on the latency problem in HIV disease. Current HIV medications must be taken for life. When they are stopped, even after years of successful therapy, high levels of virus return to the bloodstream. A major reservoir of treatment resistant virus is in resting CD4+ T cells. Dr. Swiggard is attempting to determine where the "blocks" are in the HIV life cycle that permit the virus to establish non-productive or latent infection in these resting T cells. This work may lead to new therapies aimed at reducing or eradicating viral reservoirs.

He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is the recipient of several awards and honors including the Robert Austrian Award for academic excellence in Infectious Diseases and the Pfizer Award for excellence in Infectious Diseases, both from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of several professional and scientific societies such as the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American College of Physicians, the American Medical Association, and the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

Dr. Swiggard has also authored or co-authored research papers in publications including Cell, Journal of Virology, Nature, Immunology, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $7.8 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $405 million awarded in the 2017 fiscal year.

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