Although officially retired, Dr. Gardner remains an active and vital member of the CCM. Dr. Gardner’s major research interest for many years has been in the natural history of retroviruses in animals and man. As part of the Virus Cancer Program from 1968-1980 he and his colleagues at USC School of Medicine in Los Angeles discovered and characterized Type C retroviruses of wild mice and domestic cats and carried out extensive studies on the epidemiology and virology of human cancer. This led to the understanding of a new biology of retroviruses in wild mice that was a more accurate model than inbred mice for predicting the natural history of similar Type C retroviruses (i.e. HTLV) discovered a decade later in humans. Study of naturally occurring Type C retroviruses in cats led to an appreciation of the horizontal transmission of feline leukemia virus among domestic cats and to discovery and characterization of several novel oncogenes in feline sarcomas. Endogenous infectious but nonpathogenic retroviruses were discovered in cats, mice and rats. Since moving to UC Davis in 1981, Dr. Gardner has taken part in the discovery and description of simian AIDS caused by Type D retrovirus and also by simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV, which is closely related to human immunodeficiency virus, HIV-1). He and his colleagues have studied the origin, natural history, pathology and pathogenesis of these retroviruses and have carried out a number of experimental vaccine trials. His present interest is directed at better understanding of the pathogenesis of AIDS and attempts to develop more efficacious and safe vaccines against AIDS using the SIV macaque model.
Dr. Gardner has a broad interest in comparative pathology and has developed a Comparative Pathology Web page based on animal cases from the UC Davis Veterinary Hospital that are reviewed weekly at Biopsy Conference. About 2000 cases total from all species have been entered in the data base and slides of representative lesions have been collected from all cases. Dr. Gardner is updating this page on a regular basis by adding descriptions for the disease entities with special attention to features of comparative pathology interest and linkage to histopathology images. Dr. Gardner remains actively involved with the teaching of medical and veterinary students and pre and post doctoral students. Dr. Gardner promotes collaborative interactions and loves to share his enthusiasm for science and its history with his colleagues.
A historical perspective: Simian AIDS—an accidental windfall
Rivera, R., Kyung, H.K., Anderson, D.E., Marquez, J.P., Gardner, M.B., Li, X. and Torres, J.V. Anamnestic Immune Response Eight Years After Immunization of Primates with a Multivalent HIV-1 GP120 Variable Peptide Vaccine. American Journal of Immunology, 9(1):30-35, 2013
Dr. Murray Gardner is currently retired but remains an active participant of the Center for Comparative Medicine. Please contact Dr. Gardner directly to get in touch with former laboratory staff members.