- Open Access
David D. Derse, 1949-2009
© Shuh; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009
- Received: 27 November 2009
- Accepted: 1 December 2009
- Published: 1 December 2009
David D. Derse, Ph.D., Head of the Retrovirus Gene Expression Section in the HIV Drug Resistance Program at the National Cancer Institute-Frederick (NCI-Frederick), passed away on October 9, 2009, a scant six weeks after being diagnosed with liver cancer. It was with great sadness that family, friends, and colleagues gathered together for his memorial service on Saturday, October 17, 2009, at the Middletown United Methodist Church in Maryland. As a NCI scientist since 1986, Dave studied the molecular mechanisms of infection and replication of a number of different types of retroviruses. Dave became an internationally known expert on human T cell lymphotrophic viruses type 1 and 2 (HTLV-1 and HTLV-2) and served on the editorial boards of Virology and Retrovirology. His most recent studies focused on the mechanisms of HTLV-1 virion morphogenesis, transmission, and replication.
- Bovine Leukemia Virus
- Postdoctoral Fellow
- Equine Infectious Anemia Virus
- Senior Investigator
- Infectious Molecular Clone
David Daniel Derse was born in Los Angeles, California, on December 22, 1949. After graduating from California State University Northridge with a B.S. in Chemistry in 1973, Dave worked as a research technician at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles from 1974-1977 in the laboratory of Dr. Richard L. Momparler, studying the biochemical pharmacology of new anti-neoplastic agents. Dave earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 1982 from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo. His graduate adviser at SUNY Buffalo was Dr. Yung-Chi "Tommy" Cheng who moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1979, and Dave completed his doctoral studies while working with Tommy at UNC. While a graduate student in 1981, Dave co-authored a paper with Dr. Gertrude B. Elion who was later awarded The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine . He trained with Dr. James Casey as a post-doctoral fellow from 1982-1986, first at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at New Orleans and later at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland. While in the Casey laboratory, Dave identified the enhancer elements in the long terminal repeat that regulate bovine leukemia virus (BLV) gene expression, publishing the data in Science . Dave joined NCI-Frederick as a Senior Staff Fellow in 1986, becoming a tenured Senior Investigator in 1991. In 2004, Dave became Head of the Retrovirus Gene Expression Section in the HIV Drug Resistance Program at NCI-Frederick. Dave was also an Adjunct Professor in the graduate program in Genetics at George Washington University and served on the Executive Committee of the Center of Excellence in HIV/AIDS and Cancer Virology, Center for Cancer Research at NCI-Frederick.
During his tenure at NCI-Frederick, Dave identified and characterized the molecular mechanisms of infection, replication, and pathogenesis of different retroviruses, including equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV), bovine leukemia virus (BLV), Moloney murine leukemia virus (MLV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and human T lymphotrophic virus types 1 and 2 (HTLV-1, HTLV-2). In recent years, the focus of Dave's research has been HTLV-1. This work resulted in fundamental insights into both the initial stages of infection and the assembly and release of virions from infected cells (reviewed in ). In studies directly comparing the infectivity of HTLV-1 and other retroviral cores, he reported that HTLV-1 is dramatically less efficient that other retroviruses, indicating a post-entry block in replication. He identified motifs critical for the late stage of HTLV-1 assembly and characterized their relative roles in particle release. In 2007, he published studies showing that a peptide motif in the C terminus of the HTLV-1 nucleocapsid (NC) inhibits APOBEC3G (hA3G) packaging into nascent virions, thereby allowing HTLV-1 to evade an important aspect of the body's antiviral defenses .
The author thanks Susan Derse, Jamie Derse, and Kathleen Derse Ruccione for providing biographical information and for reviewing and editing the manuscript; Dr. Kathryn S. Jones (NCI-Frederick) and Dr. Gisela Heidecker (NCI-Frederick; the current contact person for the Derse laboratory) for reviewing and editing the manuscript; the scientists who contributed comments; and Dr. David Derse for everything. On behalf of Jamie Derse, the author provides the following information: In memory of David Daniel Derse, Ph.D., The Frederick Community College (FCC) Foundation Scholarship Fund For Students with Dyslexia and Related Learning Challenges at The Frederick Community College Foundation, 7932 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick, MD 21702-2964.
- Derse D, Cheng YC, Furman PA, St Clair MH, Elion GB: Inhibition of purified human and herpes simplex virus-induced DNA polymerases by 9-(2-hydroxyethoxymethyl)guanine triphosphate. Effects on primer-template function. J Biol Chem. 1981, 256: 11447-11451.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Derse D, Caradonna SJ, Casey JW: Bovine leukemia virus long terminal repeat: a cell type-specific promoter. Science. 1985, 227: 317-320. 10.1126/science.2981431.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Derse D, Heidecker G, Mitchell M, Hill S, Lloyd P, Princler G: Infectious transmission and replication of human T-cell leukemia virus type 1. Front Biosci. 2004, 9: 2495-2499. 10.2741/1411.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Derse D, Hill SA, Princler G, Lloyd P, Heidecker G: Resistance of human T cell leukemia virus type 1 to APOBEC3G restriction is mediated by elements in nucleocapsid. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2007, 104: 2915-2920. 10.1073/pnas.0609444104.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Pichler K, Jeang KT: Remembering Ralph Grassmann (1957-2008). Retrovirology. 2008, 5: 71-10.1186/1742-4690-5-71.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Pise-Masison CA, Marriott SJ: Memories of John N. Brady: scientist, mentor and friend. Retrovirology. 2009, 6: 48-10.1186/1742-4690-6-48.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Willems L: The 14th International Conference on Human Retrovirology: HTLV and related retroviruses (July 1-4, 2009; Salvador, Brazil). Retrovirology. 2009, 6: 77-10.1186/1742-4690-6-77.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Derse D, Mikovits J, Polianova M, Felber BK, Ruscetti F: Virions released from cells transfected with a molecular clone of human T-cell leukemia virus type I give rise to primary and secondary infections of T cells. J Virol. 1995, 69: 1907-1912.PubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.