James E. K. Hildreth, PH.D, MD First Arkansas African American Rhodes Scholar, Noted Scientist
James E. K. Hildreth, M.D. is Director of the Center for AIDA Health Disparities Research, a National Institutes of Health funded center at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Hildreth was born and raised in Camden, Arkansas. He gradated valedictorian from Camden High School in 1975 and began studies at Harvard University that fall. he was selected as the first African American Rhodes from Arkansas in 1978 and graduated from Harvard magna cum laude in chemistry the following year. In the fall of 1979, Dr. Hildreth enrolled at Oxford University in England, graduating with a PH.D. in Immunology in 1982.
He returned to the United States to attend Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore, taking a one-year leave of absence from medical school for a postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacology from 1983 to 1984. He obtained his M.D. from John Hopkins in 1987 and joined the Hopkins faculty as Assistant Professor. In 2002, Dr. Hildreth became the first African American in the 125th year of history at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to earn full Professorship with tenure in the basic sciences. Dr. Hildreth served Johns Hopskins for several years as the first Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. In July, 2005, he became Director of the National Institutes of Health Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research at Meharry Medical College.
Dr. Hildreth began research on HIV and AIDS in 1986. His work focuses on blocking HIV infection by learning how HIV gets into cells. He has published more than 80 scientific articles and hold 7 patents based on his research. One protein discovered by Dr. Hildreth while at Oxford is the basis for an FDA-approved drug, Raptiva, used to treat psoriasis. Dr. Hildreth is known internationally for his work on the role of lipids in JIV infection. He is currently developing a