Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health

David J. Looney, M.D.


David J. Looney, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine of Residence
Director UCSD Center for AIDS Research Molecular Biology Core
Medical Director of the San Diego VA Healthcare System AIDS Care activity
Director Microbiology Laboratory, VA San Diego Healthcare System

University of California San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0665
San Diego, CA 92093-0665

Telephone: (858) 552-8585 ext. 2626
Fax: (858) 534-7743
Email: dlooney@ucsd.edu

Dr. Looney's C.V.


Dr. Looney graduated from the University of Missouri School of Medicine in 1979 and performed his internship and residency training at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco. His infectious disease fellowship was done at the Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX, and the the Texas State Chest Hospital and Hansen's Disease Center in San Antonio. He completed training in Tropical Medicine at the Walter Reed Army Insitute of Research, and did postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal at the NCI Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology.

Since coming to UCSD in 1989, Dr. Looney has conducted both basic and clinical research involving HIV vaccine, Gene Therapy of HIV infection, Kaposi's Sarcoma, and investigations into the role of small RNAs in transcriptional silencing and HIV replication. He current is leader of the Center for AIDS Research Molecular Biology Core, which provides support to HIV-investigators and developmental projects.

Research Interests

Areas of basic science research interest include : (1) Gene therapy of HIV/AIDS using lentiviral vectors expressing RNAs (ribozymes, antisense RNA, or siRNA directed against HIV/SIV or cellular needed cofactors) which inhibit HIV-1/SIV replication, (2) Transcriptional Silencing of HIV and other promoters via RNA Interference, mechanism and application, (3) Role of microRNA in HIV replication, (4) Effect of VelcadeTM (bortezomib - proteasome inhibitor) on EBV and KSHV replication, and (5) Genetic engineering of antigen presenting cells to more effectively present antigen using siRNA knock-out of inhibitory pathways.

Clinical research activities include: (1) Serving as local site and/or principal investigator for the multicenter/ multinational VA Cooperative Studies OPTIMA (Options in Management with Antiretrovirals) study, (2) Participating in antiretroviral phase I and expanded access studies (TMC114, TMC125, MK0518, Maraviroc), (3) Principal Investigator for evaluation of Gen-Probe qualitative HIV RNA as a screening test for clinical virological suppression, (4) Serving as co-investigator and site PI on an HIV medication adherence project (ACASI), (5) Participating in CTEP trials related to viral and/or AIDS-associated malignancies as a site co-investigator, and (6) Serving as study physician on the Shingle Prevention Study and Long Term Persistence Substudy (LTPS).

Selected Publications

  1. Mitsuya H, Looney DJ, Kuno S, Ueno R, Wong-Staal F, Broder S. Dextran sulfate suppression of viruses in the HIV family: inhibition of virion binding to CD4+ Cells. Science 240:646-648(1988).
  2. Looney DJ, Fisher AG, Putney SD, Rusche JR, Redfield RR, Burke DS, Gallo RC, Wong-Staal F. Type restricted neutralization of molecular clones of human immunodeficiency virus. Science 241:357-359(1988).
  3. Fisher AG, Ensoli B, Looney D, Rose A, Gallo RC, Saag MS, Shaw GM, Hahn BH, Wong-Staal F. Biologically diverse molecular variants within a single HIV-1 isolate. Nature 334:444-447(1988).
  4. Wang CY, Looney DJ, Li ML, Walfield AM, Ye J, Hosein B, Tam JP, Wong-Staal F. Long-Term High-Titer Neutralizing Activity Induced by Octameric Synthetic HIV-1 Antigen. Science 254:285-288(1991).
  5. Ojwang JO, Hampel A, Looney DJ, Wong-Staal F, Rappaport J. Inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 expression by a hairpin ribozyme. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 89:10802-6(1992).
  6. Corbeil J, Rapaport E, Richman DD, Looney DJ. Antiproliferative Effect of Retinoid Compounds on Kaposi's Sarcoma Cells. J. Clin. Invest. 93:1981-1986(1994).
  7. Wong-Staal F, Poeschla EM, Looney DJ. A controlled, Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effects in HIV-1 infected humans of autologous lymphocytes transduced with a ribozyme that cleaves HIV-1 RNA. Hum Gene Ther. 9:2407-25(1998).
  8. Poeschla E, Wong-Staal F, Looney D. Efficient Transduction of Human Cells by a Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Lentiviral Vector System. Nature Medicine, 4:354-357(1998).
  9. Duvic M, Friedman-Kien AE, Looney DJ, Miles SA, Scadden DT, Von Roenn J, Galpin JE, Groopman J, Loewen G, Stevens V, Truglia JA, Yocum RC. Topical treatment of cutaneous lesions of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related Kaposi sarcoma using alitretinoin gel - Results of phase 1 and 2 trials. Arch. Dermatol. 136:1461-1469(2000).
  10. Gruber A, Wheat JC, Kuhen KL, Looney DJ, Wong-Staal F. Differential Effects of HIV-1 Protease Inhibitors on Dendritic Cell Immunophenotype and Function. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 276:47840-3 (2001).
  11. Morris KV, Chan SW, Jacobsen SE, Looney DJ. Small Interfering RNA-Induced Transcriptional Gene Silencing in Human Cells. Science, 305:1289-1292(2004).
  12. Crum-Cianflone NF, Wallace MR, Looney D. Successful secondary prophylaxis for primary effusion lymphoma with human herpesvirus 8 therapy. AIDS. 20:1567-1569(2006).

Addtional information can be found at CFAR Molecular Biology Core.