Michael S. Gottlieb ’73M (MD), ’74M (Res), ’77M (Res)
Dr. Michael Gottlieb is an internist and clinical immunologist in private practice in Los Angeles. He is also an associate clinical professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Best known as the first physician to identify the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) as a new disease, he has earned national distinction for his advocacy, research, and philanthropy.
A native of New Brunswick, N.J., Dr. Gottlieb earned his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Rutgers University. He received his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1973 and stayed in Rochester to complete his internship in medicine and surgery and residency in medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital. Dr. Gottlieb completed a fellowship in clinical immunology and rheumatology at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he was a fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. At Stanford he studied transplantation tolerance under Professors Henry Kaplan and Samuel Strober.
In 1980, he became an assistant professor of medicine in clinical immunology and allergy the Department of Medicine at UCLA. Six months into that post, he authored the groundbreaking June 5, 1981 report, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, of Pneumocystis pneumonia in previously healthy homosexual men. He authored the lead article in the December 10, 1981 New England Journal of Medicine, describing the syndrome in greater detail as well as the hallmark CD-4 cell deficiency associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. On its 200th anniversary in 2012, the Journal called his paper one of the most prominent in its history.
Since that time, Dr. Gottlieb has devoted his medical career to HIV/AIDS treatment. He was principal investigator on numerous pivotal clinical trials of antiretrovirals, beginning with zidovudine (AZT), and authored numerous articles in scientific journals. He was the private physician to actor Rock Hudson and pediatric AIDS activist Elizabeth Glaser. With the late actress Elizabeth Taylor, Dr. Gottlieb established the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AMFAR). He has served on the boards of many HIV/AIDS-related governmental agencies, task forces, and volunteer organizations. He is medical advisor to the board of trustees of the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA), a non-governmental organization that works on HIV relief in rural villages in Malawi, Africa.
In 2007, Dr. Gottlieb returned to the University of Rochester to speak at the School of Medicine and Dentistry’s commencement, where he was awarded the Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal, the University’s highest alumni honor. He has also been lauded nationally for his advocacy, receiving the Dr. Howard Brown Award from Christopher Street West in 1988, Caregiver of the Year Award from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in 1993, the Spirit of Hope Award from Los Angeles nonprofit group Being Alive in 1994, and the Public Health Research Award from AltaMed Health Services in 2006. In 1995, he was awarded the Lifetime Science Award from the Center for the Study of Immunology and Aging.
Dr. Gottlieb and his wife, Wendy Gordon, live in Pasadena, Calif. They are the parents of a daughter, Jillian Gordon Gottlieb.