A physician and prominent HIV/AIDS researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Dr. Michael Saag is an expert in the studies of antiretroviral therapy as well as novel treatments for opportunistic infections that occur more frequently and are more severe in people with HIV.
Far more personally, Dr. Saag contracted and ultimately recovered from COVID-19 in 2020 and has since spoken out publicly about the need to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
He has published more than 260 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has contributed more than 50 chapters to medical textbooks. Dr. Saag has also served on the editorial boards of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses and the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Saag holds the Jim Straley Chair in AIDS Research and serves as director of the Center for AIDS Research at UAB. He is also the founder of the 1917 Clinic, UAB's AIDS treatment and research center, and frequently lectures at AIDS conferences around the world.
Dr. Michael Saag is a professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Associate Dean of Global Health, and holds the Jim Straley Chair in AIDS Research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Saag received his B.S. in chemistry with honors from Tulane University and earned his medical degree from the University of Louisville. During medical school, he served for three years on the Medical School Admissions Committee and received the Presley Martin Memorial Award for Excellence in Clinical Medicine. He completed his residency and infectious disease and molecular virology fellowship training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. During his fellowship training, Dr. Saag made seminal discoveries in the genetic evolution of HIV in vivo.
Saag has published more than 400 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the first description of the quasispecies nature of HIV (Nature, 1988), the first use of viral load in clinical practice (Science, 1993), the first description of the rapid dynamics of viral replication (Nature, 1995), the first guidelines for use of viral load in practice (Nature Medicine, 1996), the first proof of concept of fusion inhibition as a therapeutic option (Nature Medicine, 1998), and directed the ‘first in-patient’ studies of 7 of the 25 antiretroviral drugs currently on the market (including indinavir, efavirenz, abacavir, and enfuvirtide).