Richard Koup, MD

Vaccine Research Center
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda Maryland USA


Dr. Koup received a B.S. in Biophysics and a M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Connecticut and his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Koup did his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the Rhode Island Hospital and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Koup has held appointments at the Aaron Diamond AIDs Research Center and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Eleven years ago Dr. Koup moved to the NIH to join the Vaccine Research Center where he is a tenured Senior Investigator and Chief of the Immunology Laboratory.

Dr. Koup studies the protective role of HIV-specific cellular immunity. His major discoveries include defining the temporal association between the first appearance of cytotoxic T cells and the decline in viremia during acute infection, delineating the role of the thymus in HIV pathogenesis, showing that HIV specific CD4+ T cells are preferentially infected and depleted by HIV, and determining that the quality, not just the quantity, of the T cell response to HIV is crucial for maintaining control over HIV replication. Most recently he has begun to study the role of follicular T helper cells in HIV/SIV pathogenesis and the role they will play in the development of an effective vaccine against AIDS.

Dr. Koup has trained over 35 pre- and post-doctoral students, and co-authored over 200 papers on HIV and related topics. He serves as an editor for Journal of Virology and PLoS Pathogens.