Reappraising AIDS


Rethinking AIDS Editorial Board Members

Charles Thomas Jr.

Charles A. Thomas, Jr. -- founding secretary to The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS. Dr. Thomas received an undergraduate degree in chemistry at Princeton University and a doctorate from Harvard University in physical chemistry. After several years of post-doctoral studies he was appointed an Instructor of Physics at the University of Michigan. Following this he moved to Johns Hopkins University where he became a Professor of Biophysics and remained there until 1967. He was then appointed Professor of Biological Chemistry at Harvard Medical School where he remained for 11 years. In 1978 he became chairman of the Cellular Biology Department of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla California. In 1981 he formed a new research institute called Helicon Foundation in San Diego. Here he continues his life-long interest in molecular biology. He and his collaborators were the first to demonstrate that virus particles, even very large ones, contained a single molecule of nucleic acid. Before sequencing methods were developed, his group demonstrated that viral DNA molecules were terminally repetitious - that is they began and ended with the same sequence of nucleotides. This has proven to be the rule, even for virus-like elements that are integrated in the host cell chromosomes. His current work has centered on the unusual structures formed by telomeric DNA sequences.

Dr. Thomas has also been active in the formation of new companies based upon biotechnology. Since 1981 he has been instrumental in the formation of five companies, two of which are now public corporations. His latest and last company, PANTOX, measures the serum concentration of a large number of antioxidant substances that protect against the establishment of heart disease, cancer and other degenerative diseases. Dr. Thomas believes that the medicine of the future will be largely preventive and a matter of individual responsibility.