Biographical Sketch – James Earl King Hildreth, 2008
Dr. James Earl King Hildreth has been affiliated with several prestigious universities, beginning at Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in chemistry in 1979. He then went to Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar and got his doctorate in immunology in 1982. Five years later, he earned his medical degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. Dr. Hildreth joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins full time after graduation.
In 2001, while Dr. Hildreth was Chief of the Division of Research for NIH’s National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, he and his research team discovered that cholesterol is active in HIV’s ability to penetrate cells and that removing the fatty material from a cell’s membrane can block infection. This led to his focus on how HIV enters cells and causes infection. Dr. Hildreth accepted the Directorship of Meharry’s Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research in 2005. His primary work focuses on developing topical microbicides (chemical condoms) to block transmission of HIV.