Dorothy E. Lewis, PhD

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1981 …2020

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Personal profile

Personal profile

Dr. Lewis is manager of the Houston Methodist Faculty Development Program. She develops and oversees faculty development programs, workshops, courses, and mentoring activities to help translational scientists develop their careers.

Dr. Lewis earned a PhD in Microbiology in 1978 at the University of Arizona. She continued her training in an NIH supported fellowship in the laboratory of Noel Warner at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine where she focused on autoimmune disease in mice. She also became an expert in flow cytometry. In 1982 she was appointed as instructor at Baylor College of Medicine, established her own lab as well as a school-wide flow cytometry facility. She began working on HIV Immunology by examining immune cells from patients who had an acquired immunodeficiency which later was recognized as HIV. She received her first NIH grant in 1985 to study CD8 T cell function in HIV infection. She was among the first to describe the aberrant function of these cells in HIV which indicated that they were “exhausted.” She was also the first to show in 1990 that HIV infected persons with AIDS had very high levels of HIV RNA transcription in the peripheral blood.

She received continuous support for her work in various aspects of HIV pathogenesis including an NIH MERIT grant from 2001-2012. She rose through the ranks at BCM and became a full professor in 2001, along with serving as graduate program director for the Department of Immunology. She received the Mark Dresden award in 2004 for her mentoring efforts at BCM as well as two community awards for HIV research and activity in 2001 and 2002.

Dr. Lewis moved to the University of Texas in 2009 and established a flow core facility for the Internal Medicine department. She taught in both medical school and graduate school at UT and developed a grant writing course for graduate students. She was a member of the AIDS virology study section from 1992-1996, served on the NIAID council from 2002-2006 and was a member and then chair of the AIP (AIDS Immunology and Pathogenesis) study section from 2007-2011. She was a member of a NIH Training and Workforce Diversity study section from 2012-2016. She was the Immunology core director of the BCM/UT Center for AIDS research and developed multiple immune assays for clinical use. In addition, she developed and ran a mentoring program for young investigators doing HIV research in Houston. Her recent work at UT focused on how immune cells interact with adipose tissue that lead to lipodystrophy and as a reservoir for latent HIV infection.

Research interests

Dr. Lewis is interested in faculty development strategies including improving creative endeavors such as grant writing, manuscript writing and communication skills. She is focused on developing and implementing mentoring programs for both faculty and their mentees. She integrates faculty development services at Houston Methodist using innovative methods that promote translational excellence.

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