Dorothy E. Lewis Ph.D. received her Ph.D. in Microbiology in 1978 at the University of Arizona and then did an NIH supported Immunology postdoctoral fellowship at the University of New Mexico from 1978 to 1982. She worked on the genetics of New Zealand black mice autoimmunity and became an expert in Flow Cytometry.

In 1982, she moved to Baylor College of Medicine to set up a flow cytometry facility and to begin her own research program, initially focused on autoimmunity. Subsequently, in the first few years of operation of the Flow core, she became involved in analyzing patient cells that came from the blood of those with an unknown immunodeficiency, later identified as HIV. She was among the first to document changes in CD8 T cells in HIV-infected people and the implications of their activation and cellular death. She received her first NIH grant in 1985 to examine the CD8 T cells and has continuous support for her work in various aspects of HIV pathogenesis since that time including an NIH MERIT grant from 2001-2012.   She rose through the ranks at BCM and became a full professor in 2001, along with serving as Graduate program director for the Department of Immunology. She received the Mark Dresden award in 2004 for her mentoring efforts at BCM as well as two community awards for HIV research and activity in 2001 and 2002.  She moved to the University of Texas in 2009 and established a flow core facility for the Internal medicine department.  She is involved in both medical school and graduate school teaching at UT and serves as a member of the academic standards committee representing the Immunology program.  She was a member of the AIDS virology study section from 1992-1996, served on the NIAID council from 2002-2006 and was a member and then chair of the AIP (AIDS Immunology and Pathogenesis) study section from 2007-2011.  She was a member of a NIH Training and Workforce Diversity study section from 2012-2016.  She was the Immunology core director of the BCM/UT Center for AIDS research and has developed multiple immune assays for clinical use. Her current work at UT is focused on how immune cells interact with adipose tissue that lead to lipodystrophy and as a reservoir for latent HIV infection.  She has found that infectious HIV and SIV reside in adipose tissue that the immune cells are distinct and different from those found in the blood.  She is also testing whether common antiretroviral drugs can also penetrate adipose and at what levels.  She is interested in T cell metabolism and its role in HIV replication and latency.


Bachelor Degree
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
Master Degree
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
Doctor of Philosophy
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona