Photo courtesy of iTherx
Searching for a cause of the AIDS epidemic, virologist Flossie Wong-Staal was part of the team that discovered the HIV virus in 1983. Two years later, she successfully cloned the HIV virus, an effort which led to its genetic mapping and the ability to screen blood for HIV. Scientist magazine named her one of the “ten superstars of science,” in 1990, and afterward she continued to work on finding vaccines for HIV and a cure for AIDS, using gene therapy. She is currently executive vice president of research and chief scientific officer at iTherx, a drug company she co-founded.