James Hildreth MD
President & CEO
Meharry Medical College
James E.K. Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D., was born and raised in Camden, Arkansas. In 1975, he began undergraduate studies at Harvard University and was selected as the first African-American Rhodes Scholar from Arkansas in 1978. He graduated from Harvard magna cum laude in chemistry in 1979.
Dr. Hildreth began research on HIV and AIDS in 1986 and his research has been funded through NIH grants for almost two decades. His work focuses on the role of host proteins and lipids in HIV infection. Dr. Hildreth is internationally recognized for his work demonstrating the importance of cholesterol and specialized membrane regions containing cholesterol in HIV infection. He has published more than 90 scientific articles and is the inventor on 11 patents based on his research. A protein discovered by Dr. Hildreth as a graduate student was the basis for an FDA-approved drug (Raptiva) that was used to treat psoriasis. A primary focus of his research currently is the development of a vaginal microbicide to block HIV transmission in women.
On July 1, 2015, Dr. Hildreth joined Meharry Medical College to serve as the 12th president and chief executive officer of the nation’s largest private, independent historically black academic health sciences center.