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1987 …2023

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Personal profile

Professional information

Fellow, Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Deans (2018)

Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2017)

Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology (2014)

Fellow, American College of Physicians (2012)

Fellow, Infectious Diseases Society of America (2009)

Diplomate, Subspecialty of Infectious Diseases, American Board of Internal Medicine (1996; recertified through 2024)

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine (1990)


Research interests

Dr. Leslie Parent's research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the assembly of retrovirus particles. Her laboratory members uses genetic, biochemical, biophysical and live-cell imaging approaches to dissect the viral and cellular factors that mediate the trafficking of retroviral proteins and genomic RNA complexes in infected cells. Their investigation of the host factors involved in transport of retroviral proteins and RNAs throughout the cell is at the interface of virology and cellular biology.

Recent work in Dr. Parent's laboratory has focused on studying the mechanism by which retroviruses recognize their RNA genomes and select them for incorporation into virions. She has adopted a comparative retrovirology approach by comparing and contrasting the replication strategies of Rous sarcoma virus, mouse mammary tumor virus and human immunodeficiency virus. Members of her laboratory discovered that the Gag protein of Rous sarcoma virus undergoes nuclear trafficking, which is required for efficient incorporation of genomic RNA into virions. This work challenges the current dogma of how retroviruses select and incorporate their genomic RNA into virus particles. 

In addition to her research, Dr. Parent is a standing member of the NIH study section HVCD (HIV Molecular Virology, Cell Biology and Drug Discovery).

Teaching and educational interests

Dr. Leslie Parent participates in the training of medical students, residents and fellows in clinical infectious diseases. She is co-director of Penn State College of Medicine's MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), where she is involved in mentoring the next generation of physician-scientists. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program, Drexel University College of Medicine

… → 2016

Retrovirology, Research Fellowship, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center


Infectious Disease, Fellowship, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center


Internal Medicine, Residency, Duke University


MD, Duke University

… → 1987

External positions

Associate Editor, Retrovirology

2019 → …

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Virology

2004 → …


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