Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Mario Stevenson, Ph.D.

Mario Stevenson, Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine

Description of Research

Dr. Stevenson’s research focuses on the viral etiology of AIDS. Lentiviruses such as HIV, which is the causative agent of AIDS, have evolved the capacity to transduce non-dividing cells including macrophage and monocyte. As a consequence, lentivirus-based vectors are being exploited in gene delivery strategies aimed at transduction of non-dividing cells such as stem cells, muscle cells and neurons. Over the past decade, Dr. Stevenson’s work has been defining the viral determinants that govern non-dividing cell infection. His work has established that non-dividing cells harbor a restriction that prevents establishment of retroviral cDNA. As a consequence, lentiviruses have evolved proteins that inactivate this restriction. With this information, he has derived a retrovirus vector that is able to transduce non-dividing cells. This research has relevance to the development of gene delivery strategies for non-dividing cells and for genetic manipulation of cancer cells.


  • Identified the mechanism for transduction of non-dividing cells by lentiviruses. This will accelerate strategies for gene delivery to non-dividing cells including stem cells, neurons and microglia.
  • Identified a cellular activity that blocks invasion by oncogenic retroviruses and lentivirues. This information will accelerate the development of strategies that block infection by lentiviruses as well as oncogenic lentiviruses.

Selected Cancer-Related Publications

  • Stevenson M, Chomont N, Lafeuillade A. Conference highlights of the 5th international workshop on HIV persistence during therapy,6-9 December 2011,St. Maartin,West Indies. AIDS Res Ther 9:7, 2012. Read more »
  • Vojnov L, Martins MA, Bean AT, Veloso de Santana MG, Sacha JB, Wilson NA, Bonaldo MC, Galler R, Stevenson M, Watkins DI. The Majority of Freshly Sorted Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV)-Specific CD8+ T Cells Cannot Suppress Viral Replication in SIV-Infected Macrophages. J Virol 86:4682-7, 2012. Read more »
  • Stevenson M. Review of basic science advances in HIV. Top Antivir Med 20:26-9, 2012. Read more »


Collaborating in the Multidisciplinary Research Program(s):

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