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Patrick S. Moore, MD, MPH

  • Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Leader of the Cancer Virology Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Dr. Moore focuses his research on the link between viruses and cancer. Through his research, he hopes to answer why some viruses evolve to cause cancer while others cause nothing worse than the common cold.

Dr. Moore and his wife, Yuan Chang, MD, discovered Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), also called human herpesvirus 8. KSHV causes Kaposi’s sarcoma, the most common malignancy occurring in AIDS patients. Kaposi’s sarcoma, a disease in which cancer cells are found in the tissues under the skin or mucous membranes, can be very aggressive in people whose immune systems are suppressed. Prior to this discovery, scientists had worked for 20 years to find an infectious agent associated with Karposi’s sarcoma.

He and Dr. Chang also are the discoverers of Merkel cell polyomavirus, which their research indicates is the culprit that causes the rare and deadly skin cancer, Merkel cell carcinoma.

The research undertaken by Drs. Moore and Chang at UPCI centers on the discovery of new pathogens through the use of novel methods for sorting and amplifying gene fragments.

Dr. Moore received his medical degree from the University of Utah College of Medicine. Along with Dr. Chang, he has published more than 90 articles and reviews in the medical literature. He currently serves on the editorial board of Virus Research, Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Epstein-Barr Virus Report. He has received numerous awards, including the Meyenburg Foundation Award for Cancer Research, the Robert Koch Prize and the New York City Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Science & Technology.