Alice Shih-hou Huang

Senior Faculty Associate in Biology
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B.A., Johns Hopkins University, 1961; M.S., 1963; Ph.D., 1966. M.A. h.c., Harvard University; D.Sci.h.c., Wheaton College; Mt. Holyoke College; Medical College of Pennsylvania. Faculty Associate, Caltech, 1997-2007; Senior Faculty Associate, 2007-.

As a graduate student with Robert R. Wagner, in studies on vesicular stomatitis virus, she was the first to purify and characterize defective interfering (DI) viral particles. Her postulate that these mutants play a major role in viral pathogenesis stimulated work on many viral systems including plant viruses, and has led to the testing of these particles for the amelioration of viral diseases. Her postdoctoral work with David Baltimore and a graduate student Martha Stampfer, on vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) uncovered a virion-associated RNA-dependent RNA polymerase that led the way to Baltimore's discovery of reverse transcriptase. Her overall research focused on the molecular characterization of VSV: its viral RNA species and regulatory mechanisms during replication as well as its glycoprotein and a derivative, soluble form, shed from infected cells. She was, also, the first to demonstrate that RNA and DNA enveloped viruses, including leukemia viruses, herpes viruses and human immunodeficiency virus, phenotypically mix their surface glycoproteins resulting in alterations of antigenicity and host range. These results led to the use of VSV as a vector to target specific cells. Her contributions to the early days of animal virus studies and the use of VSV as a model virus system have been widely recognized.

Subsequently, as Dean at NYU, she spearheaded interdisciplinary programs that resulted in the formation of "Silicon Alley, an entrepreneurial outgrowth from the collaboration of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, the Tisch School of the Arts, and Faculty of Arts & Sciences.

Selected Awards: 
1958 Academic Honors, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA
1960-61 Opportunity Fellow, John Hay Whitney Foundation, New York
1975-76 American Society for Microbiology Foundation Lecturer
1977 Eli Lilly Award in Microbiology and Immunology
1978 Alumnae Citation Award, National Cathedral School, Washington, D.C.
1979 Burroughs Wellcome Traveling Fellow to Great Britain
1980 M.A. (Honorary) Harvard University
1982 Doctor of Science (Honorary), Wheaton College, MA
1987 Doctor of Science (Honorary), Mount Holyoke College, MA
1989 San Francisco Chinese Hospital Annual Award
1989 Sigma Delta Epsilon, Women in Science (honorary)
1989-94 NIH Merit Award
1991 Doctor of Science (Honorary), Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
1990 Member, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
1994 NY-American Women in Science (AWIS) Award for Outstanding Woman Scientist
1997 Phi Tau Phi Scholastic Honor Society of America (West American Chapter)
1998 Fellow of the Association for Women in Science
1998 Honorary Alumna of the California Institute of Technology
1999 Achievement Award of the Chinese-American Faculty Association of Southern California
1999 Renantanda Alice Shih-hou Huang (Renanthera Kalsom x Vanda insignis), orchid named by the Botanical Gardens, National Parks Board, Singapore
2000 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
2001 Alice C. Evans Award, American Society for Microbiology
2009 Carnegie Foundation’s Great Immigrants: Pride of America honoree
2012 Asian American Engineer/Scientist of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Chinese Institute of Engineers – USA
2013 Award from the Chinese-American Engineers and Scientists Association of Southern California
2015 The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award
Professional Societies: 
1966 Sigma Xi Honor Society, Johns Hopkins Chapter
1967 American Society for Microbiology (fellow, American Academy of Microbiology)
1971 American Association for the Advancement of Science (fellow, ‘00)
1974 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
1978 Association of Women in Science (fellow)
1979 Infectious Diseases Society of America (fellow)
1981 American Society for Virology
1982 American Academy of Microbiology
1988 Society of Chinese Bioscientists of America
1990 Academia Sinica, Taiwan
1990 New York Academy of Sciences
Courses 
Bi 23. Biology Tutorials. 3 or 6 units; second term. Small group study and discussion in depth of special areas or problems in biology, involving regular tutorial sections with instructors drawn from the divisional postdoctoral staff and others. Usually given winter term. To be arranged with instructors before registration. Graded pass/fail. Instructor: Huang.

Publications