Dr. Thomas W. Hodge
2005 Award of Honor
– Classes of 1982
The medical world is closely watching the exciting and groundbreaking work of Dr. Thomas Hodge. His cutting edge research, currently being done at the University of Georgia, could change the face of medicine. Today he is developing a gene therapy technique that alters cells from the inside so that HIV, as well as other illnesses such Ebola, Marburg, Measles, Reovirus, Respiratory Syncytia and Influenza cannot survive.
His family says his interest in medicine began after he underwent an open heart surgery as a young boy. At first he thought of becoming a doctor to help save people's lives, but he entered the research field so his work could possibly touch the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals with health problems.
Recently, Dr. Hodge accepted the position of Senior Research Scientist as well as being a Hudson-Alpha Institute for Biotechnology Investigator in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia. Prior to this appointment, he was the director of the Immunogenetics Laboratory in the HIV Immunology and Diagnostics Branch of the National Center of HIV, AIDS, STD and TB Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control.
This native of Gainsville, Georgia, received his undergraduate degree from Emory University. He is one of the first three graduates to obtain a Ph.D. from East Tennessee State University's James H. Quillen College of Medicine in 1982. After that he went on to receive postdoctoral training from the University of Alabama and the University of Pennsylvania.
Before Hodge began his work for the CDC, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama, Birmingham in the Department of Microbiology. He is the author/co-author of over 50 research and review publications concerning host genes and autoimmune and infectious diseases. More recently his research has focused on identifying host genes associated with pathogenesis. Dr. Hodge also holds a patent for compositions and methods for tolerizing a human subject to the effects of an immune system pathology.
While at ETSU Thomas was active in the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the American Society of Microbiology, the Society of Xi, the American Diabetes Association and the American Society of Histo Compatibility and Immunogenetics