University of Colorado, Boulder
Ph.D., biology, '91
PATRICK ALLEN is one of the country's leading AIDS/HIV researchers, working since 1995 as principal investigator on a $1.2 million NIH-funded study of the HIV capsid structure (the region containing the viral genetic material) and how the structure relates to infectivity of the deadly virus. Allen was recently surprised to realize that he is the only black scientist funded by the National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases (Division of AIDS) to do AIDS/HIV research-yet more blacks suffer from the disease than any other group in the U.S. To increase the number of black researchers and to improve relations between the African American community and the biomedical field, Allen has launched a campaign he calls the Black Biomedical Research Movement. He's working with fellow scientists to encourage young African Americans to pursue research careers; organizing a broad-based popular media awareness campaign; and pushing for legislative action that addresses health issues in the black community.