175 Makers of History: Dennis Liotta, Raymond Schinazi, and Woo-Baeg Choi

Dennis Liotta, Raymond Schinazi, and Woo-Baeg Choi
Inventors of Emtriva, AIDS Medication

Dennis Liotta and Raymond Schinazi

More than 90 percent of people in the U.S. and many around the world who are on medication for HIV/AIDS take antiretroviral drugs developed at Emory.

In the early 1990s, chemistry professor Dennis Liotta (at left in photo), pediatrics professor Raymond Schinazi (at right in photo), and researcher Woo-Baeg Choi codeveloped the molecules 3TC and FTC, which help to prevent or delay HIV from replicating and infecting other cells. After continued work, FTC -- or Emtriva ("Em" for Emory) -- and 3TC were recommended by the World Health Organization as part of a first-line drug treatment regimen.

Atripla, a combination of Emtriva and two other previously approved drugs, now enables many patients to take just one pill a day, down from ten to fifteen pills a decade ago.