Paul A. Luciw, Ph.D.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Center for Comparative Medicine
UC Davis
County Road 98 and Hutchison Drive
Davis, CA 95616
Ph: 530-752-3430
Fax: 530-752-7914

  • Infectious disease (HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis)
  • In vivo Distribution of Antiviral Drugs
  • Clinical Proteomics (biomarkers for disease)
  • Molecular mechanisms of viral pathogenesis in animal models (non-human primates)
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS (pathogenesis, vaccines, drug therapy)
  • Diagnostics and biomarkers for infectious diseases and cancer

Paul Luciw received his doctorate in Microbiology/Virology in 1977 from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA). After completing a post-doctoral fellowship on molecular mechanisms of retroviral replication at University of California, San Francisco, in 1982, he joined Chiron Corporation (now Novartis) in Emeryville, CA, where he developed vaccines based on genetic engineering technology and cloned the genome of HIV, the causative agent of AIDS. In 1986, Dr. Luciw became a member of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UC Davis, where he initiated a research program on molecular mechanisms of viral pathogenesis in animal models; currently he is a Professor in this department. He was appointed a core-staff scientist at the California National Primate Research Center in 1996, and has served as Leader of the Infectious Desease Research Unit at this center since 2012. He became a member of the Center for Comparative Medicine in 1997.

During his tenure at UC Davis, Dr. Luciw has been the primary mentor of 15 Ph.D. students, 3 M.S. students, 12 post-doctoral fellows, and 5 research-track associates.

Overview: Dr. Paul Luciw is a virologist with extensive experience in many aspects of virology, cell biology, and molecular biology. The main emphasis of his research is on viruses that establish persistent infection; these include retroviruses that cause immunodeficiency and herpesviruses associated with cancer. His recent translational research has focused on the development of novel multiplex detection technologies for studies of infectious diseases and cancer.

Mechanisms of viral pathogenesis and latency: For studies on simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), a major aim of Dr. Luciw’s research is to identify viral determinants of pathogenesis in the non-human primate model (i.e., rhesus monkeys) for AIDS. This research aims to define functional domains on viral proteins and to analyze molecular mechanisms regulating viral transcription in latency and reactivation. He is testing novel pharmacologic approaches targeted at inducing virus (SIV, HIV, recombinant SHIV strains) from latent cell reservoirs in nonhuman primates. Coupled with highly active antiretroviral therapy, induction of latent virus by compounds that activate specific transcription factors and remodel chromatin, could lead to elimination of virus from an infected individual. He has also studied molecular mechanisms regulating chronic infection of cats with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV); this includes analysis of viral reservoirs and reactivation of latent virus. With collaborators, Dr. Luciw investigates the oncogenic herpesvirus, Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), with a focus on viral genes regulating signal transduction.

Vaccination against infectious agents: A component of Dr. Luciw's research has involved the testing and development of recombinant anti-viral vaccines in the SIV/monkey and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)/cat model systems; these studies are directly relevant for the development of vaccines against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS. A goal of this vaccine research is to elucidate molecular and cellular mechanisms that account for induction of anti-viral immune responses after DNA immunization. In addition, his research extended to collaborations that use non-human primates to evaluate novel vaccines against Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Clinical/translational research and multiplex biomarker detection technology: For translational research of infectious diseases, Dr. Luciw has developed multiplex immunoassay technology for detection of antibodies to multiple infectious agents and analysis of host response immunomodulatory proteins to infection. To study host responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, his laboratory has developed and applied multiplex immunoassays for studies of cytokines, chemokines, and inflammatory mediators as well as antibodies to multiple antigens of this pathogen in infected nonhuman primates and humans. Importantly, these robust multiplex assays have strong potential for significantly improving diagnosis and prognosis of tuberculosis. He has also applied this novel immunoassay for detection of antibodies to multiple infectious agents of mouse (UC Davis Mouse Biology Program) and rhesus monkey (California Primate Center). For application to studies on mechanisms of tumorigenesis, Dr. Luciw has been developing multiplex immunoassay systems that simultaneously detect multiple cell signaling molecules (phosphotyrosine kinases and substrates, phosphoserine/threonine kinsese and substrates, transcription factors). This system enables simultaneous analysis of multiple signal transduction pathways and multiple components of these pathways in cancer cell line models and tumors. His laboratory has also performed multiplex analysis of protein targets in plasma of cancer patients, with the goal of defining rapid and effective methods for diagnosis and prognosis. These plasma targets include biomarkers associated with various stages of tumorigenesis (growth factors, proteinases, oncogenes, angiogenesis factors, etc.).

Venue: In the Center for Comparative Medicine building on the UCD campus, which is adjacent to the California Primate Center, Dr. Luciw has been assigned 1200 sq. ft. of lab space for molecular virology. At both Centers, he has access to shared space and equipment for growth and analysis of infectious viral and bacterial pathogens in biosafety containment level 2 and level 3 labs. In addition, to support translational research, Dr. Luciw has been assigned lab space for the Clinical Proteomics Core that he directs at the Research 3 Building at the UCD Medical Center in Sacramento.

  • Center for Comparative Medicine (UC Davis): 1993 to present
  • Core Staff Scientist - California National Primate Research Center (UC Davis): 1999 to present
  • Infectious Disease Unit Leader - California National Primate Research Center (UC Davis): 2012 to present
  • Pacific Southwest Regional Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (UC Irvine), Director of the Animal Modeling and Telepathology Core (UC Davis): 2005 to 2011
  • Biotechnology Advisory Board (UC Davis): 1999 to present
  • Targeted Action Group for AIDS Vaccines (UC San Francisco): 1997 to present
  • Microbiology Graduate Group (UC Davis): 1986 to present
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Group (UC Davis): 1990 to present
  • Integrative Pathobiology Graduate Group (UC Davis): 1992 to present

Mass spectrometry imaging reveals heterogeneous efavirenz distribution within putative HIV reservoirs.  Thompson CG, Bokhart MT, Sykes C, Adamson L, Fedoriw Y, Luciw PA, Muddiman DC, Kashuba AD, Rosen EP.  Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015 May;59(5):2944-8. PMID: 25733502

Microbial profiling of combat wound infection through detection microarray and next-generation sequencing.  Be NA, Allen JE, Brown TS, Gardner SN, McLoughlin KS, Forsberg JA, Kirkup BC, Chromy BA, Luciw PA, Elster EA, Jaing CJ.  J Clin Microbiol. 2014 Jul;52(7):2583-94.  PMID:24829242

Enhanced antiretroviral therapy in rhesus macaques improves RT-SHIV viral decay kinetics.  North TW, Villalobos A, Hurwitz SJ, Deere JD, Higgins J, Chatterjee P, Tao S, Kauffman RC, Luciw PA, Kohler JJ, Schinazi RF.  Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2014 Jul;58(7):3927-33.  PMID:2477710

Exploratory study on plasma immunomodulator and antibody profiles in tuberculosis patients.  Ravindran R, Krishnan VV, Khanum A, Luciw PA, Khan IH.  Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2013 Aug;20(8):1283-90.  PMID:23761664

Transcriptional regulation of latent feline immunodeficiency virus in peripheral CD4+ T-lymphocytes.  McDonnel SJ, Sparger EE, Luciw PA, Murphy BG.  Viruses. 2012 May;4(5):878-88.  PMID:22754653

Protein arginine methyltransferase 1-directed methylation of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus latency-associated nuclear antigen.  Campbell M, Chang PC, Huerta S, Izumiya C, Davis R, Tepper CG, Kim KY, Shevchenko B, Wang DH, Jung JU, Luciw PA, Kung HJ, Izumiya Y.  J Biol Chem. 2012 Feb 17;287(8):5806-18.  PMID:22179613

Plasma antibody profiles as diagnostic biomarkers for tuberculosis.  Khan IH, Ravindran R, Krishnan VV, Awan IN, Rizvi SK, Saqib MA, Shahzad MI, Tahseen S, Ireton G, Goulding CW, Felgner P, DeRiemer K, Khanum A, Luciw PA.  Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2011 Dec;18(12):2148-53.  PMID:21976221

Stereological analysis of bacterial load and lung lesions in nonhuman primates (rhesus macaques) experimentally infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis.  Luciw PA, Oslund KL, Yang XW, Adamson L, Ravindran R, Canfield DR, Tarara R, Hirst L, Christensen M, Lerche NW, Offenstein H, Lewinsohn D, Ventimiglia F, Brignolo L, Wisner ER, Hyde DM.  Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2011 Nov;301(5):L731-8.  PMID:21873450

Microbead arrays for the analysis of ErbB receptor tyrosine kinase activation and dimerization in breast cancer cells.  Khan IH, Zhao J, Ghosh P, Ziman M, Sweeney C, Kung HJ, Luciw PA.  Assay Drug Dev Technol. 2010 Feb;8(1):27-36.  PMID:20035613

Viral sanctuaries during highly active antiretroviral therapy in a nonhuman primate model for AIDS.  North TW, Higgins J, Deere JD, Hayes TL, Villalobos A, Adamson L, Shacklett BL, Schinazi RF, Luciw PA.  J Virol. 2010 Mar;84(6):2913-22.  PMID:20032180

NF-kappaB serves as a cellular sensor of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus latency and negatively regulates K-Rta by antagonizing the RBP-Jkappa coactivator.  Izumiya Y, Izumiya C, Hsia D, Ellison TJ, Luciw PA, Kung HJ.  J Virol. 2009 May;83(9):4435-46.  PMID:19244329

Co-immunization with IL-15 enhances cellular immune responses induced by a vif-deleted simian immunodeficiency virus proviral DNA vaccine and confers partial protection against vaginal challenge with SIVmac251.  Dubie RA, Maksaereekul S, Shacklett BL, Lemongello D, Cole KS, Villinger F, Blozis SA, Luciw PA, Sparger EE.  Virology. 2009 Mar 30;386(1):109-21.  PMID:19193388

A comparison of multiplex suspension array large-panel kits for profiling cytokines and chemokines in rheumatoid arthritis patients.  Khan IH, Krishnan VV, Ziman M, Janatpour K, Wun T, Luciw PA, Tuscano J.  Cytometry B Clin Cytom. 2009 May;76(3):159-68.  PMID:1882300

Macaque models of human infectious disease.  Gardner MB, Luciw PA.  ILAR J. 2008;49(2):220-55. Review.  PMID:18323583