Dr. D’Orso received his B.S. and Master in Biological Sciences, from the National University of Mar del Plata (Buenos Aires, Argentina) in 1998. Dr. D’Orso then obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the National University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 2003 under the tutelage of the U.S. National Academy Member Dr. Alberto C. Frasch. He continued his training as a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Alan D. Frankel at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, during which time he was supported by fellowships from the Fundación Antorchas (Argentina), Human Frontier Science Program and amfAR. During his postdoctoral position, Dr. D’Orso elucidated key features about the mechanisms of HIV transcriptional regulation. Following receipt of a NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) from the NIAID in 2009, Dr. D’Orso began his independent career in November 2010. The major theme of his work is to characterize the mechanisms of HIV transcriptional regulation, and the molecular and structural basis of cellular reprogramming by viral transcription factors. He uses a wide-range of approaches (genetics, protein biochemistry, functional genomics and virology) to identify and characterize molecular mechanisms of HIV-host interplay and transcriptional control. These combined strategies led him to discover a novel pathogenic mechanism by which the viral Tat protein assembles with host co-factors to active the switch between transcription initiation into elongation at the HIV promoter. Tat assembles a multi- host co-factor protein-RNA complex essential for viral transcription and replication, thus making them ideal targets for therapeutic intervention. His current work is focused on using cell biological, biochemical and genetic studies to elaborate the contribution of these host co-factors to the establishment of latency and efforts for HIV eradication. Dr. D’Orso’s research program is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, The Welch Foundation and an Institutional grant from the American Cancer Society.


Universidad Nacional De Mar De (1998), Biology
Graduate School
Universidad Nacional De San Ma (2003), Molecular Biology

Research Interest

  • Chromatin biology
  • Epigenetics
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Protein-RNA complexes
  • Transcriptional regulation


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Honors & Awards

  • The Welch Foundation
  • NIH/NIAID K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, USA
  • amfAR Postdoctoral Fellow
    Inaugural Mathilde Krim Fellowship to support bright young scientist for AIDS Research (2008)
  • Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Sixth Young Talent Prize - Amersham-Pharmacia, Brazil
  • Research in Health Science prize, Argentina