Photo of David I. Dorsky, M.D., Ph.D.

David I. Dorsky, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases
Academic Office Location:
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-3212
Phone: 800-535-6232

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1975 B.A. in Biochemistry, Brandeis University
1982 M.D. Harvard Medical School
1982 Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology, Harvard University
1982-1985 Residency in Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston
1985-1988 Fellowship in Infectious Diseases, Beth Israel-Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston
1988-1989 Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston
1989-2007 Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, UConn Health Center, Farmington
2007-Present Associate Professor of Medicine, UConn Health Center, Farmington

A.B.Brandeis UniversityBiochemistry
M.D.Harvard Medical SchoolMedicine
Ph.D.Harvard UniversityExperimental Pathology

Post-Graduate Training
InternshipBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterInternal Medicine
ResidencyBeth Israel HospitalInternal Medicine
PostdoctoralNational Foundation for Infectious DiseasesLilly Postdoctoral Fellowship
FellowshipBeth Israel Hospital-Brigham and Women's HospitalInfectious Diseases

Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Young Investigator AwardNational Foundation for Infectious Diseases
Rishon M. Bialer Memorial PrizeBrandeis University
A.B., Magna cum laudeBrandeis University
Highest Department Honors in Biochemistry and BiologyBrandeis University
Elected to Phi Beta KappaBrandeis University Chapter
Julian and Helen Behr Scholarship PrizeBrandeis University
Infectious Diseases Liaison to Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, UConn Health Center, 1989-2002 Inpatient Consultations in Infectious Diseases, UConn Health Center Clinical Staff at Newington VAMC, 1989-2004 Outpatient Consultations in Infectious Diseases, UConn Health Center Longitudinal Management of HIV Patients, UConn Health Center
Attending on Infectious Diseases service, teaching residents, fellows and medical students
Participation in Infectious Diseases core curriculum for second-year medical students
HIV Pathogenesis elective, solo-taught, offered annually to first- and second-year students
Doctoral thesis committee participation
Supervision of post-doctoral research fellows
Supervision of laboratory research for clinical Infectious Diseases fellows
Name & DescriptionCategoryRoleTypeScopeStart YearEnd Year
John Dempsey Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics CommitteeProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberUConn HealthUniversity2012
European Journal of ImmunologyProfessional/Scientific JournalAd hoc reviewerExternalInternational20102010
Gene MedicineProfessional/Scientific JournalAd hoc reviewerExternalNational20052005
UCONN Health Center AAUP ChapterProfessional/Scientific OrganizationVice PresidentUConn HealthUniversity20032009
Clinical Infectious DiseasesProfessional/Scientific JournalAd hoc reviewerExternalNational20032003
Food and Drug Administration Antiviral Drugs Advisory CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeGuest MemberExternalNational20012001
Journal of VirologyProfessional/Scientific JournalAd hoc reviewerExternalNational19991999
American Association of University ProfessorsProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational19981998
UCONN Health Center: PCP / AIDS Pneumonia Care Path TeamProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberUConn HealthUniversity1997
UCONN Health Center: M.D.-Ph.D. Combined Degree Program Steering CommitteeProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberUConn HealthUniversity19971998
UCONN Health Center: AIDS Task ForceProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberUConn HealthUniversity1996
American Society for MicrobiologyProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational19961996
AddictionProfessional/Scientific JournalAd hoc reviewerExternalNational19951995
UCONN Health Center: Ad hoc Faculty Review CommitteeProfessional/Scientific OrganizationChairUConn HealthUniversity19941994
Infectious Diseases Society of AmericaProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational19921992
American Association for the Advancement of ScienceProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational19921992
National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Program Project Review CommitteeProfessional/Scientific OrganizationAd Hoc ReviewerExternalNational19921992
UCONN Health Center: General Clinical Research Center CommitteeProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberUConn HealthUniversity19911993
National Institutes of Dental Research: Special Grants Review CommitteeProfessional/Scientific OrganizationAd hoc reviewerExternalNational19911991
VirologyProfessional/Scientific JournalAd hoc reviewerExternalNational19911991
UCONN Health Center: Animal Care CommitteeProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberUConn HealthUniversity19891991

Anti-herpesvirus and Anti-HIV Chemotherapy Mechanisms

The biology and biochemistry of the heterodimeric herpesvirus DNA polymerases have been studied through the functional analysis of heterologously expressed site-directed mutants. We have identified and continue to study functional domains of the polymerase accessory protein BMRF1 involved in nuclear localization, phosphorylation, dsDNA-binding, polymerase processivity, and functional interaction with the BZLF-1 lytic origin-binding protein.

Detection and Characterization of HIV Isolates Using GFP-based Indicator Cell Assays

An HIV-1 LTR-GFP retrovector was constructed to develop indicator cell assays for HIV based on the activation of HIV-1 LTR-driven GFP gene expression by the viral tat gene product. The indicator cell assay is being used to study interactions of the antiviral drug ribavirin with antiretroviral drugs, to screen candidate antiviral agents, and to develop a method for the recovery of primary clinical isolates.

Gene Transfer and Bioengineering

The Center for Molecular Tissue Engineering at UConn Health Center is working to overcome the problem of biofouling in the development of an implantable glucose biosensor through the induction of neovascularization. Gene transfer strategies involving adenovectors and retrovectors are being employed to test the effects of neovascularization on implanted sensor function in animal models.

Engineered Adaptive Immunity

Naive human T cells, both CD8+ and CD4+, may be reprogrammed to recognize target epitopes by transduction with vectors encoding TCR genes specific for HLA class I-restricted epitopes, melanoma and HIV antigens in our case. TCR-engineered CD8+ cells become epitope-specific CTLs that are cytotoxic for the appropriate tumor or target cells in vitro and have even begun to be used for clinical tumor immunotherapy; however, in vivo, the potent anti-tumor effect soon diminishes. We are studying the effects of certain TCR mutations that should alter the cell-death signaling associated with antigen-induced activation and may have translational value. With current transduction protocols, TCR engineered CD4+ cells develop into Th1 effectors, exhibiting tumor target cytotoxicity and antigen-induced Th1 cytokine release. We are trying to understand and control this process to engineer cognate help for CTL generation. Also, through systematic alteration of activation conditions prior to tranduction and by knocking-down expression of T-bet and JNK2, which control Th1-type differentiation, we are attempting to obtain antigen-specific Th2 and Treg.

Antigen Presentation

Melanoma tumor-associated antigens and HIV antigens altered by protein trafficking signals, including the HSV VP22 protein translocation domain, are introduced into antigen-presenting cells using viral vectors and protein transduction to study the in vitro generation of human CTL and CD4+ responses by these cross-presentation systems. The aim is to develop a better understanding of the basic processes associated with cross presentation that may be applicable to vaccine design and adaptive immunotherapy.

Not accepting lab rotation students at this time

Journal Articles


  • Use of Vascular Endothelial Cell Growth Factor Gene Transfer to Enhance Biosensor Function in Vivo.
    Klueh U, D. Dorsky, D. L. Kreutzer Transactions 2003 Society for Biomaterials. 2003 Jan;
  • Cloning and Expression of the Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 DNA Polymerase in Bacteria
    Dorsky, D.I., Crumpacker, C.S. Antiviral Research 992
  • Infection of Papilloma Virus-Transformed Oral Epithelial Cells by HIV-1
    Barr, C., Dorsky, D.I. Journal of Dental Research 78115
  • Polyoma Mutants with Altered Middle T-Antigens
    Dorsky, D.I., Benjamin, T.L. Journal of Supramolecular Structure 14163
  • Streptococcus Viridans Bacteremia Following High-Dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Rescue (HDA/ASCR)
    Bilgrami, S., Dorsky, D.I., Edwards, R.L., Feingold, J.M., Khan, A.M., Rodriguez-Pinero, F., Tutschka, P.J. Proceedings of the American Society for Clinical Oncology 16100a
  • Use of Vascular Endothelial Cell Growth Factor Gene Transfer to Enhance Biosensor Function In Vivo
    Klueh, U., Dorsky, D.I., Kreutzer, D.L. Journal of Biomaterials 2003; Transactions of the Society for Biomaterials

Conference Papers


Title or AbstractTypeSponsor/EventDate/YearLocation
Designing a Non-Ambiguous, Consistent HIV Resistance Mutation ModelPosterInternational AIDS Society Meeting2012Washington, D.C.
TCR Gene Transfer: Toward Adoptive Immunotherapy for Cancer and Chronic Infectious Diseases TalkUniversity of Nevada at Las Vegas. Dept. of Biology Seminar2010Las Vegas, NV
TCR Gene Transfer: Toward Adoptive Immunotherapy for Cancer and Chronic Infectious DiseasesLectureUniversity of Nevada at Las Vegas2010Las Vegas, Nevada
Multi-cistronic vectors for iPSC generationTalkFirst Annual Connecticut Stem Cell Technology Symposium 2008Farmington, CT
Vaccines for the NephrologistLectureUniversity of Connecticut Health Center2008Farmington, Connecticut
Multi-Cistronic Vectors for iPSC GenerationLectureConnecticut Stem Cell Technology Symposium2008Farmington, Connecticut
Antiviral ChemotherapyLectureUniversity of Connecticut Health Center2007Farmington, Connecticut
Mechanisms of Caspase Independent Activation Induced Cell Death of Human Primary Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes: Implications for Cancer ImmunotherapyPosterInt’l. Soc. For Biological Therapy for Cancer2005Alexandria, Virginia
Cross-presentation of MART-1 delivered to dendritic cells by HSV VP22-mediated protein translocationTalkDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Department of Microbiology and Immunology Seminar2004Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH
A Simple, Rapid Bioassay for Infections HIV-1PosterInfectious Diseases Society of America2004Boston, Massachusetts
Overview of HIV MedicineLectureUniversity of New England College2004Biddeford, Maine
Viral Infections and Antiviral Therapy in the BMTULectureDartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital2004
Cross-Presentation of MART-1 Delivered to Dendritic Cells by HSV VP22-Mediated Protein TranslocationLectureUniversity of Connecticut Health Center2004Farmington, Connecticut
Cross-Presentation of MART-1 Delivered to Dendritic Cells by HSV VP22-Mediated Protein TranslocationLectureDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center2004
MHC Class I Presentation of an Exogenous Human Tumor Associated Self Antigen Delivered to Dendritic Cells by Intercellular SpreadingPosterAmerican Society for Cell Biology2003San Francisco, California
Antiviral ChemotherapyLectureUniversity of Connecticut2003Storrs, Connecticut
An LTR-GFP Indicator Cell Line for HIVLectureFood and Drug Administration2001Rockville, Maryland
An LTR-GFP Indicator Cell Line for HIVLectureStratagene Corporation2001La Jolla, California
Non-HIV AntiviralsLectureInfectious Diseases Society of America2000New Orleans, Louisiana
Antiviral TherapyLectureMemorial Hospital Medical Grand Rounds1999Manchester, Connecticut
Infections Involving the GI Tract in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant RecipientsLectureUniversity of Connecticut Health Center1999Farmington, Connecticut
Indicator Cell Assays for Detecting Infectious HIV-1PosterInfectious Diseases Society of America1997San Francisco, California
AIDS and the Law. “Medical Management of AIDS.”LectureUniversity of Connecticut School of Law1997Storrs, Connecticut
The Changing Face of AIDSLectureFarmington Valley Unitarian-Universalist Congregation1997Simsbury, Connecticut
A GFP-Based Indicator Cell Bioassay for HIV-1 with Clinical ApplicationsLectureInternational Symposium on Green Fluorescent Protein1997New Brunswick, New Jersey
Detection of HIV-1 Infection with a Green Fluorescent Protein Reporter SystemPosterInterscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy1996New Orleans, Louisiana
Genital HSV InfectionsLectureSTD/HIV Prevention Training Center of New England1995
Mutational Analysis of the EBV BMRF1 DNA Polymerase Accessory ProteinPosterCold Spring Harbor Meeting on Cancer Cells1994Cold Spring Harbor, New York
Antiviral Therapy for HIVLectureCharlotte Hungerford Hospital1993Torrington, Connecticut
Antiviral Therapy for HIVLectureUConn Health Center Medical Grand Rounds1992Farmington, Connecticut
Herpesvirus InfectionsLectureUConn/ACP CME Course in Internal Medicine1992Stowe, Vermont
Protein Purification and Characterization CourseTalkCold Spring Harbor Laboratory1992Cold Spring Harbor, New York
MutagenesisTalkPlymouth State College1992
Cooperation of EBV DNA Polymerase and EA-D In Vitro and Co-Localization in Nuclei of Infected CellsPosterInternational Herpesvirus Workshop1991Pacific Grove, California
EBV DNA Polymerase and Viral ReplicationLectureJefferson Medical College1991Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
EBV DNA Polymerase and Viral ReplicationLectureBeth Israel Hospital1991Boston, Massachusetts
Mutational Analysis of HSV DNA PolymerasePosterInternational Herpesvirus Workshop1989Nyborg Strand, Denmark
Herpesvirus InfectionsLectureUCONN Health Center1989Farmington, Connecticut
Expression of the HSV-1 DNA Pol Gene by In Vitro Translation and Effects of Gene Deletion on ActivityPosterInternational Herpesvirus Workshop, University of California1988Irvine, California
Herpesvirus InfectionsLectureHarvard Medical School1988Boston, Massachusetts
Mutagenesis and Functional Analysis of Cloned HSV DNA Polymerase GenesPosterInternational Herpesvirus Workshop, University of Pennsylvania1987Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cloning and Expression of the HSV-1 DNA Polymerase GenePosterInternational Herpesvirus Workshop, University of Leeds1986Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
Cell MotilityLecturePlymouth State College1980
Non-Transforming Mutants of Polyoma Virus with Wild-Type Small T-AntigenPosterDNA Tumor Virus Meeting1980Cold Spring Harbor, New York
Animal Viruses CourseLectureCold Spring Harbor Laboratory1976Cold Spring Harbor, New York