Murray B. Gardner, MD

Emeritus Professor
Department of Pathology
and Laboratory Medicine
University of California, Davis
County Rd. 98 & Hutchison Dr.
Davis, CA 95616

Research Interests

Comparative Pathology

Although officially retired, Dr. Gardner remains an active and vital member of the CCM. Dr. Gardner’s major research interest for many years has been in the natural history of retroviruses in animals and man.  As part of the Virus Cancer Program from 1968-1980 he and his colleagues at USC School of Medicine in Los Angeles discovered and characterized Type C retroviruses of wild mice and domestic cats and carried out extensive studies on the epidemiology and virology of human cancer.  This led to the understanding of a new biology of retroviruses in wild mice that was a more accurate model than inbred mice for predicting the natural history of similar Type C retroviruses (i.e. HTLV) discovered a decade later in humans.  Study of naturally occurring Type C retroviruses in cats led to an appreciation of the horizontal transmission of feline leukemia virus among domestic cats and to discovery and characterization of several novel oncogenes in feline sarcomas. Endogenous infectious but nonpathogenic retroviruses were discovered in cats, mice and rats.  Since moving to UC Davis in 1981, Dr. Gardner has taken part in the discovery and description of simian AIDS caused by Type D retrovirus and also by simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV, which is closely related to human immunodeficiency virus, HIV-1).  He and his colleagues have studied the origin, natural history, pathology and pathogenesis of these retroviruses and have carried out a number of experimental vaccine trials. His present interest is directed at better understanding of the pathogenesis of AIDS and attempts to develop more efficacious and safe vaccines against AIDS using the SIV macaque model.

Dr. Gardner has a broad interest in comparative pathology and has developed a Comparative Pathology Web page ( based on animal cases from the UC Davis Veterinary Hospital that are reviewed weekly at Biopsy Conference. About 2000 cases total from all species have been entered in the data base and slides of representative lesions have been collected from all cases. Dr. Gardner is updating this page on a regular basis by adding descriptions for the disease entities with special attention to features of comparative pathology interest and linkage to histopathology images. Special attention is directed to the horse as a comparative model because Dr. Gardner’s son Marty is a veterinarian practitioner, specializing in horse lameness.  This is the link to his clinic Great Basin Equine (GBE) in Nevada.  Dr. Gardner remains actively involved with the teaching of medical and veterinary students and pre and post doctoral students.  Dr. Gardner promotes collaborative interactions and loves to share his enthusiasm for science and its history with his colleagues.

Selected Publications

Most recent of 350 publications since 1965.

Exploiting the natural history of cytomegalovirus to vaccinate against HIV.  Sparger EE, Gardner MB, Barry PA. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2009 Aug;8(8):993-7. No abstract available. PMID: 19627183

Sparger, E.E., Gardner, M.B. and Barry, P.A. Exploiting the natural history of cytomegalovirus to vaccinate against HIV.  Expert Rev. Vaccines, 8(8):1-5, 2009.           

Macaque models of human infectious disease.  Gardner MB, Luciw PA. ILAR J. 2008;49(2):220-55. Review. PMID: 18323583

Gardner, M.B. Search for oncogenic retroviruses in wild mice and man:  Historical reflections.  Cancer Therapy, 6:285-302, 2008.

Gardner, M.B. and Luciw, P.A. Macaque models of human infectious diseases.  ILAR Journal, 49(2):220-255, 2008.

Gardner, M.B. One Medicine:  An Introduction.  Breast Disease, 28:1-5, 2007.

Gardner, M.B. Historical Perspective In: In vivo Models of HIV Disease and Control.  H. Friedman, S. Specter and M. Bendinelli (eds).  Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. (Pub.), pp. 1-18, 2006.

Gardner, M.B., Carlos, M.P. and Luciw, P.A. Simina Retroviruses. In: AIDS and Other Manifesations of HIV Infection, G.P. Wormser (ed)., Fourth Edition, Raven Press, LTD, New York, 195-262, 2004.

Induction of simian AIDS in infant rhesus macaques infected with CCR5- or CXCR4-utilizing simian-human immunodeficiency viruses is associated with distinct lesions of the thymus.  Reyes RA, Canfield DR, Esser U, Adamson LA, Brown CR, Cheng-Mayer C, Gardner MB, Harouse JM, Luciw PA.  J Virol. 2004 Feb;78(4):2121-30.PMID: 14747577

Gardner, M.B. Simian AIDS:  an historical perspective.  J. Med. Primatol., 32:1-7, 2003.

Live, attenuated simian immunodeficiency virus SIVmac-M4, with point mutations in the Env transmembrane protein intracytoplasmic domain, provides partial protection from mucosal challenge with pathogenic SIVmac251.  Shacklett BL, Shaw KE, Adamson LA, Wilkens DT, Cox CA, Montefiori DC, Gardner MB, Sonigo P, Luciw PA.  J Virol. 2002 Nov;76(22):11365-78. PMID: 12388697

Experimental coinfection of rhesus macaques with rhesus cytomegalovirus and simian immunodeficiency virus: pathogenesis.  Sequar G, Britt WJ, Lakeman FD, Lockridge KM, Tarara RP, Canfield DR, Zhou SS, Gardner MB, Barry PA.  J Virol. 2002 Aug;76(15):7661-71.PMID: 12097580

Gardner, M.B.  Mammary Tumor Viruses in Wild Mice and Humans. Comparative Medicine, 52:19-20, 2002.

Contributions of mouse biology to breast cancer research.  Cardiff RD, Bern HA, Faulkin LJ, Daniel CW, Smith GH, Young LJ, Medina D, Gardner MB, Wellings SR, Shyamala G, Guzman RC, Rajkumar L, Yang J, Thordarson G, Nandi S, MacLeod CL, Oshima RG, Man AK, Sawai ET, Gregg JP, Cheung AT, Lau DH.  Comp Med. 2002 Feb;52(1):12-31. Review. No abstract available. PMID: 11900409

Hu, J., Gardner, M.B. and Miller, C.J. Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Rapidly Penetrates the Cervicovaginal Mucosa after Intravaginal Inoculation and Infects Intraepithelial Dendritic Cells. J. Virology, 74:6087-6095, 2000.

Gardner MB.  The History of Simian AIDS.  J Med Primatol, 25:148-157, 1996.

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