J. Michael Kilby, M.D., endowed chair in infectious diseases at MUSC reaches $1 million goal

Natalie Wilson
February 17, 2023
Dr. J. Michael Kilby

The Department of Medicine and the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) established the J. Michael Kilby, M.D., Endowed Chair in Infectious Diseases to honor Dr. Kilby, a gifted physician-scientist who devoted his life and career to the advancement of the specialty of Infectious Diseases, HIV research and patient care. Thanks to the generous support of his father, Dr. Larry Kilby, as well as contributions from other family members, colleagues, friends, and grateful patients, MUSC recently reached the goal of $1 million to make the Kilby Endowed Chair a reality.

Now that the endowment is fully funded, the Kilby Chair will enable MUSC to attract and retain the top clinicians and scientists in the field of infectious diseases and will ensure that MUSC remains a national leader in infectious disease research and patient care.

“Dr. Kilby was a wonderful person, outstanding mentor, and remarkable leader,” said Dr. Cassandra Salgado, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases. “This tribute to Dr. Kilby will perpetuate his legacy as an academic physician who was not only constantly seeking new knowledge to develop better treatment plans for his own patients, but also expertly training the next generation of infectious diseases providers to ensure this benefit for countless others.”

Dr. Kilby received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Duke University Medical School including a year as assistant chief medical resident. He next completed an infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham followed by a year as chief infectious diseases fellow.

Prior to joining MUSC, Dr. Kilby served as associate professor of medicine with tenure at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as well as director of the 1917 Clinic (UAB’s HIV Clinic) and associate director of UAB’s General Clinical Research Center. He joined MUSC in 2008 as professor and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, a position he held until his passing in August of 2015.

A gifted clinician, Dr. Kilby was passionate about providing optimal care for all persons living with HIV and dramatically expanded the availability of medical services at MUSC. He oversaw the federally funded Ryan White programs, which help support clinical care for over 1300 HIV-infected adults and children from across South Carolina.

In addition to being a dedicated clinician, Dr. Kilby was also an active research scientist whose interests included acute retroviral illness and HIV natural history, novel antiretroviral therapies including integrase inhibitors, and the immunopathogenesis of HIV. He published more than 75 textbook chapters and peer-reviewed papers in journals including Nature Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Annals of Internal Medicine, Science, Nature, and Journal of Infectious Diseases. A fellow in the Infectious Disease Society of America and the American College of Physicians, he was also on the editorial boards of JAIDS and the Faculty of 1000 infectious diseases website.

MUSC is fortunate that the Kilby family, friends and colleagues came together to launch the fundraising campaign for this endowed chair. A recent donation by Dr. Larry Kilby, Michael’s father, led to the endowment reaching its $1 million goal. He made this donation in honor and memory of Dr. Louis Pikula, Jr., of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Dr. Pikula was a neurosurgeon in the US Army Reserve, serving as chief of Neurosurgery in Vietnam hospitals, and at Forsyth Medical Center. He was an author, teacher, and a fellow of the American Board of Neurosurgery. Always an available and supportive mentor to Dr. Kilby and others in residency, Dr. Kilby was pleased to find Dr. Pikula as a patient when he assumed a practice in Winston-Salem, renewing a friendship that lasted for years. Dr. Pikula passed away on June 27, 2022.