CFAR Team


John M. Coffin, PhD
Co-Core Director, Developemntal Core
Co-Core Director, Retrovirology Core


Mailing Address: Tufts University
Microbiology-Basic Sci/Medical
136 Harrison Ave.
Boston, MA 02111
Telephone: (617) 636-652
Email: John.Coffin@Tufts.edu

Dr. Coffin is American Cancer Society Research Professor of Molecular Biology at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. Dr. Coffin's scientific career has been centered on developing an understanding of the association of retroviruses with their hosts. As a student with Howard Temin, he performed some of the initial studies defining subviral structures and their presence in cells as markers of infection. As a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Charles Weissmann, he developed methodology to show the nuclear synthesis of retrovirus RNA by RNA pol II and performed some of the initial studies on genetic structure of the retrovirus genome. In subsequent work, he has analyzed many facets of retrovirus biology, including genome structure and genetics, mechanisms of replication, co-evolution of viruses and hosts, and pathogenic mechanisms. Although most of his laboratory work has been with simple retroviruses of chickens and mice, he has taken an active role in the HIV problem and has authored a number of critical reviews on aspects of HIV biology.

Dr. Coffin was formerly an Editor of the Journal of Virology, and holds offices in several professional associations. He is senior editor of the recently published book Retroviruses, the definitive work in the field. He was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 1999. He has served with a number of government review and oversight committees relevant to the AIDS problem, and is also serving as Director of the HIV Drug Resistance Program of the National Cancer Institute. He has contributed more than 125 articles to the scientific literature, largely on the mechanisms of transformation by and replication of retroviruses.