Physician Education: Bridging Clinical Research and Patient Care

Faculty Profile

Professor of Medicine
University of Cailfornia San Diego
San Diego, California

Topics of Professional Interest:

Dr Letendre's research focuses on the impact on the brain of chronic infections and their treatment. The work is performed primarily at UCSD's HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center in Hillcrest and includes investigations of

  • the effects of HIV and Hepatitis C on biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid, neuropsychological performance, neuroimaging, and neuropathologic findings,
  • the pharmacology and effectiveness in the brain of antivirals, including antiretrovirals and interferons, and adjunctive therapies, and
  • the contribution of host and viral genetic variability to the risk for infection-associated brain injury and their treatment.

In addition to U.S.-based projects, Dr Letendre participates in similar studies in China, India, Brazil, and other venues.

Current Professional Summary:

Since joining the UCSD faculty in 2000, Dr. Letendre has conducted patient-oriented research of the correlates and consequences of chronic central nervous system infections, primarily HIV and HCV. He is also an active investigator in the UCSD unit of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG, funded by the National Institutes of Health), and is currently a member of both the national ACTG Neurology Subcommittee and the ACTG Dementia Focus Group.


Dr Letendre graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1986 and then completed his internship at Naval Hospital in Oakland, California. Following his residency in internal medicine at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, he completed fellowships in infectious diseases at Duke University and in neurologic HIV research at UCSD. Dr Letendre also has training in tropical medicine, cold weather medicine, and aerospace medicine.

Selected Publications:


  1. Letendre SL, Lanier ER, McCutchan JA. Cerebrospinal fluid beta chemokine concentrations in neurocognitively impaired individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1. J Infect Dis. 1999;180: 310-319.
  2. Langford TD, Letendre SL (co-first author), Marcotte TD, et al. Severe, demyelinating leukoencephalopathy in AIDS patients on antiretroviral therapy. AIDS. 2002;16(7):1019-1029.
  3. Letendre SL, McCutchan JA, Childers ME, et al. Enhancing antiretroviral therapy for human immunodeficiency virus cognitive disorders. Ann Neurol. 2004;56(3):416-423.
  4. Letendre S, Marquie-Beck J, Singh KK, et al. The monocyte chemotactic protein-1 -2578G allele is associated with elevated MCP-1 concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid. J Neuroimmunol. 2004;157(1-2):193-196.
  5. Cherner M, Letendre S, Heaton RK, et al. Hepatitis C augments cognitive deficits associated with HIV infection and methamphetamine. Neurology. 2005;64(8):1343-1347.
  6. Capparelli E, Holland D, Okamoto C, Gragg B, Durelle J, Marquie-Beck J, van den Brande G, Ellis R, Letendre S, and the HNRC Group. Lopinavir concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid exceed the 50% inhibitory concentration for HIV. AIDS. 2005;19(9):949-952.



An Advanced CME Course in HIV Pathogenesis, Antiretrovirals, and Other Selected Issues in HIV Disease Management