Uta von Schwedler Prize

for Retrovirology

A $1250 cash prize in honor of Uta von Schwedler was established in 2012 to be awarded annually with the purpose of honoring the accomplishments of a distinguished graduate student as he or she completes a dissertation in retrovirology.

The cash prize is awarded directly to the student based upon their scientific accomplishments and promise. The successful applicant will be a senior graduate student, or a recent PhD awardee

(within six months of the May Retroviruses Meeting).

About Uta

Uta's Scientific Contributions

Uta began her career in retrovirology research in Roland Friedrich's laboratory at the University of Giessen, where she defined a signal sequence in the envelope protein of spleen focus-forming virus and received her Diplome (Masters) degree in 1987. As a PhD student in Matthias Wabl's laboratory at UCSF (1987-90), she showed that a circular DNA product is produced during the process of immunoglobulin heavy chain class switching, thereby demonstrating that the immunoglobulin heavy chain class switch occurs through a DNA looping-out and deletion mechanism [von Schwedler et al (1990) Nature].


Uta was a postdoctoral fellow of the UC AIDS Foundation in Didier Trono's laboratory at the Salk Institute (1991-94), where she showed that expression of the HIV-1 Vif protein in virus producing cells overcomes a subsequent early-stage block in the infection of restricted target cells. [von Schwedler (1993) J Virol.]


She then worked as a senior research associate in Wes Sundquist's laboratory at the University of Utah (1996-2008), where she made a series of important contributions to our understanding of HIV-1 assembly and budding. For example, her paper that mapped the host protein interaction network required for HIV budding was selected by the HIV Vaccine electronic (e) resource (HIVe) as one of the most influential scientific papers published in the first 30 years of HIV research. In the final three years of her life, she worked with Ila Singh and with Joshua Schiffman at the University of Utah.


Uta was especially fond of the Cold Spring Harbor Meeting on Retroviruses, both owing to her love of science, but also for the friends she connected with year after year. She attended sixteen meetings during her career. She was always active, whether attending meeting lectures, socializing with old and new friends, discussing science at poster sessions, running on the Cold Spring Harbor campus, or swimming in the ocean harbor. Uta also had deep respect and talent for basic research and loved to train and mentor young scientists. She was loved by many within this community, and this prize is meant to remember and honor her professional contributions and to help foster these characteristics in the next generation of retrovirologists.


This EM image was taken by Uta and shows virus particles budding from the cell. In this particular case the viruses are inhibited from budding by mutations in the ESCRT system.


How to Apply



March 21, 2023


Applications must include


  • Meeting abstract (format specified for CSHL Retroviruses Meeting)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • One page summary of thesis research
  • Copy of candidate's most significant publication


Please prepare application as a single PDF, ordered as listed above. The candidate is also responsible for arranging two electronic letters of reference, separate from the application. Application and letters of reference (and questions regarding this application) should be emailed directly to Jack Skalicky (skalicky@biochem.utah.edu).



Application Review Committee


  • Wes Sundquist, Chair (University of Utah)
  • Thomas Hope (Northwestern University)
  • Hans-Georg Kräusslich (University of Heidelberg)
  • Walther Mothes (Yale University)
  • Vicente Planelles (University of Utah)
  • Jack Skalicky (University of Utah)
  • Alice Telesnitsky (University of Michigan)
  • Didier Trono (École Polytechnique Fedéralé de Laussanne)



Past Recipients

Jack Collora

Yale University


Interrogation of HIV-1 driven transcriptomic and epigenomic changes in infected and uninfected blood cells

Lara Rheinemann

University of Utah


Host-Virus-Interactions during ESCRT-dependent Virus Budding

Jérémie Prévost

University of Montreal


Impact of HIV-1 Envelope Conformation on Humoral Responses

Jiayi Wang

University of Minnesota


The Dynamic Interplay between Lentiviral Vif and Human APOBEC3 Proteins

Matthew Takata

Rockefeller University


Non-coding RNA Features Critical to the Replication of HIV-1

Jordan Becker

University of Wisconsin


Trans-cytoplasmic express: Observing HIV-1 genomic RNA trafficking, interactions in the cytoplasm, and effects on virion assembly

Anna Gres

University of Missouri


Structural Basis of Stability of the Mature HIV-1 Capsid Core

Kellie Ann Jurado

Harvard University


Allosteric integrase inhibitors reveal a role for integrase during HIV-1 maturation

Suzannah Rinh

Rockefeller University


Causes and Consequences of Genetic Robustness and Fragility in HIV-1 Proteins

Judd Hultquist

University of Minnesota


HIV-1 Vif Requires Cellular CBFβ to Degrade the Antiviral APOBEC3 Proteins and Facilitate Viral Replication

Oya Cingöz

Tufts University


Recombinant Origin of the Retrovirus XMRV: Discovery, Analysis and Distribution of Two Ancestral Viruses


Our Supporters

The Uta von Schwedler Prize is an effort of the retrovirology community, the von Schwedler family, and friends of Uta. The prize is funded by individual contributions, including donations from those listed below. We have raised funds to ensure the prize will be awarded into the near future, however, additional contributions are always welcome.


  • Christopher R. Aiken
  • Shannon Ashby
  • Alberto Bosque
  • Paula Cannon
  • Chris Fillmore
  • Roland Friedrich
  • Adam Frost
  • Doug Grossman
  • G. Wesley Hatfield and Suzanne Beth Sandmeyer
  • Christopher Hill and Jacqui Wittmeyer
  • Brian Kelly
  • Erik Kish-Trier
  • Janet Lindsley
  • Jane MacFarlane
  • Navid Madani
  • John McCullough
  • Heidi McIntosh
  • Vicente and Audrey Planelles
  • Monica Roth
  • Ruth Sagenschneider
  • Heidi Schubert
  • Janet Shaw
  • Jack Skalicky
  • Paul W. Spearman
  • Wesley and Nola Sundquist
  • Almut von Schwedler
  • Anna von Schwedler
  • Holle von Schwedler
  • Simon von Schwedler
  • Sophie von Schwedler
  • Alice P. Telesnitsky

We acknowledge the efforts of the Prize Committee in the selection process, the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in administering the endowment fund, and the many private individuals who have provided generous support.


Individual and corporate donations to the Uta von Schwedler Prize endowment fund are welcome.


Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and thus all donations are tax-deductable.


To donate by check


Please make checks payable to "Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory", clearly marked "Uta von Schwedler Fund" and send to:


Jill Stone

Nichols Building

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

1  Bungtown Road

Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724




Email: stone@cshl.edu

Please contact Ms. Stone directly if you have any additional questions.


To donate by credit card

Please visit the CSH website and specify that your gift is in honor of Uta von Schwedler.




Contact Information

For Donations


Information about how to donate can be found here.

Please contact Jill Stone directly if you have any additional questions.


For Application Questions


Please direct any questions regarding the application to Jack Skalicky.




Please report any errors or needed updates to Rachel Merrill.