Michael Saag MD

Professor of Medicine, Director of the UAB Center for AIDS Research, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. Saag received a B.S. in chemistry with honors in 1977 Tulane University, earned his medical degree with honors from the University of Louisville, and completed his residency and infectious disease and molecular virology fellowship training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. During the last 6 months of his fellowship, Dr. Saag conceived the concept of a comprehensive HIV outpatient (1917) clinic dedicated to the provision of interdisciplinary patient care in conjunction with the conduct of high quality clinical trials, translational science, and clinical outcomes research. Within the clinic structure, he established a clinical trials unit, a data management center, and a Clinical Specimen Repository designed to support the activities of the newly established Center for AIDS Research at UAB. In essence, the clinic became a “hub” for the clinical, basic science, and behavioral science investigators within the Center by creating a dynamic interface between the patients and the investigators. Dr. Saag has participated in many studies of antiretroviral therapy as well as novel treatments for opportunistic infections. He has published over 450 articles in peer reviewed journals, including the first description of the use of viral load in clinical practice (Science, 1993), the first description of the rapid dynamics of viral replication (Nature, 1995), the first guidelines for use of viral load in practice (Nature Medicine, 1996), the first proof of concept of fusion inhibition as a therapeutic option (Nature Medicine, 1998), and directed the ‘first-in- patient’ studies of 7 of the 30 antiretroviral drugs currently on the market. Dr. Saag Co-Edited a textbook entitled AIDS Therapy (now in its 3rd edition) and currently serves as an Editor of the Sanford Guide for Antimicrobial Agents and the Sanford HIV Guide. Dr. Saag serves on the International AIDS Society-USA Board of Directors, is a Past-President of the HIV Medical Association, is Chair of the IAS-USA Antiretroviral Therapy Guidelines panel, was a founding Co-Chair of the AASLD / IDSA Hepatitis C Guidelines Panel, and a past-member of the HHS Guidelines Panel on Antiretroviral Therapy and the WHO Antiretroviral Therapy Guidelines panel. In 2014, he was the Castle-Connolly National Physician of the Year and was inducted into the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame. An accomplished teacher, Dr. Saag has been awarded Argus awards annually by the UAB medical students as Best Lecturer in the Patient, Doctor, and Society module. Dr. Saag recently published a memoir entitled “Positive: One doctor’s encounters with death, life, and the US Healthcare system,” now in its second printing.


Appearances