Once considered a death sentence, HIV infection has been transformed into a more manageable chronic disease for those with access to antiretroviral treatment. Since the condition was first described in 1981, the tireless efforts of a global community of scientific and medical researchers, HIV-infected patients, and patient advocates have made—with unprecedented speed—remarkable progress in fighting the disease. This progress includes the identification of the virus, the development of an accurate test to show its presence in the blood, detailed knowledge of its structure and action, the discovery of dozens of effective drugs to treat it, and hundreds of research studies that demonstrate how to halt its progress effectively.
How has this progress changed our approach to research and health policy? With panelists including some of the leading figures in the history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, “Can We Meet the Challenge of HIV/AIDS?” will provide an understanding of how, in the war against this disease currently affecting 36 million people, our victories have shaped the current scientific and policy-making landscape, and how they will guide the battles to come.
The symposium is free, but registration is required. Register online or contact Nancy Vonada, CHF’s manager of events and donor relations, at 215.873.8226 or email@example.com.
On December 4, 2012, CHF presented The Evolution of HIV/AIDS Therapies: A Conversation. Moderated by Jeffrey Sturchio, the event engaged four luminaries in HIV/AIDS research, policy, and practice—Gregg Alton and Norbert Bischofberger from Gilead Sciences, and Sir Richard Feachem and Paul Volberding from the University of California, San Francisco—in a conversation about both the remarkable progress we have seen in HIV therapies and the challenges still to be met.
Watch an edited video of the conversation.
José Esparza recently retired from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he worked for 10 years, serving as senior adviser on HIV vaccines. Currently he is an adjunct professor at the Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he also serves as senior adviser to the Global Virus Network. He is also a consultant in vaccinology to several companies and organizations.
From 1986 to 2004 Esparza worked with the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS in Geneva, Switzerland, where he promoted the international development and testing of vaccines for HIV/AIDS. From 1974 to 1985 he worked at the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research, where he became professor of virology, head of the Laboratory of Biology of Viruses, and chairman of the Center of Microbiology and Cell Biology. During that time he made numerous contributions in the area of rotavirology.
Esparza has published over 180 scientific articles, mostly in human virology, vaccinology, and HIV/AIDS research. He also is interested in the history of medicine, especially of infectious diseases and vaccination. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine in Venezuela and serves on several advisory committees around the world. He has received numerous awards, including the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award of the Institute of Human Virology and the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award of Baylor College of Medicine.
In 1968 Esparza received his MD degree in Venezuela and in 1974 a PhD in virology and cell biology from Baylor College of Medicine.
Robert C. Gallo
Since 1996 Robert C. Gallo has been director of the Institute of Human Virology and a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He is also the Homer and Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine and cofounder and scientific director of the Global Virus Network. He worked at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for 30 years before transferring to the University of Maryland. In 1976, while at NCI, he and his coworkers discovered interleukin-2, one of the first cytokines (“messenger” molecules that allow cells to communicate and alter one another’s function). It proved to be a major tool not only for immunology but also for the discovery of all human retroviruses.
Gallo and his colleagues then opened and pioneered the field of human retrovirology with the discovery of the first human retrovirus (HTLV-1) and along with Japanese investigators showed it was a cause of a particular form of human leukemia. A year later he and his group discovered the second known human retrovirus (HTLV-2). Gallo and his colleagues also independently discovered HIV and provided the first results to show that HIV was the cause of AIDS. They also developed the life-saving HIV blood test. In 1986 he and his coworkers discovered human herpesvirus-6, the first new herpesvirus found in more than 25 years and the cause of roseola. In 1995 he and his colleagues discovered the first endogenous inhibitors of HIV, namely, some of the beta chemokines. This discovery helped in the later discovery of the HIV coreceptor CCR5 and opened up entire new approaches to the treatment of HIV disease.
Gallo has been awarded 32 honorary doctorates, is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, and is a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He is also the recipient of numerous scientific honors and awards. Gallo was the most cited scientist in the world from 1980 to 1990, according to the Institute for Scientific Information, and he was ranked third in the world for scientific impact for the period from 1983 to 2002. He has published close to 1,300 papers.
Daria J. Hazuda
Daria J. Hazuda is the vice president and therapeutic area head of infectious disease and vaccines at Merck Research Labs. Previously she was the global director of scientific affairs for antivirals in Merck’s division of Global Human Health, where she was responsible for establishing the postmarketing scientific leadership strategy for Isentress. She has also been the co-site head of basic research for the Merck West Point research facility. Hazuda joined Merck in 1989 as a senior research biochemist in the antiviral research group.
Hazuda has over 20 years of experience in drug discovery and development, with more than 180 publications focused primarily on antiviral research in the fields of HIV and hepatitis C virus. Her laboratory was the first to identify inhibitors of HIV-1 integrase, which block integration in HIV-infected cells; establish their biochemical mechanism of action; demonstrate efficacy in vivo; and report on mechanisms of resistance. She led the research effort that identified and developed the first-in-class integrase inhibitor Isentress, which was awarded the Prix Galien in 2008. She has been recognized with the Bernie Field Lecture Award and the David Barry DART Achievement Award for pioneering the science on HIV integrase inhibitors.
Hazuda serves on the editorial board of the American Chemical Society Journal on Anti-Infectives Research and the Journal of Viral Eradication, on the NIH AIDS Research Advisory Committee, and on the scientific advisory boards of the Center for AIDS Research at UCLA and of the Gladstone Institute. She currently is a member of the NCI Basic Sciences Board of Scientific Counselors, the Scientific Program Advisory Council of the American Foundation for AIDS Research, and the Forum for HCV Collaborative Research.
Hazuda trained as a biochemist at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and completed her postdoctoral research fellowship in the department of immunology at Smith Kline before joining Merck.
Mark H. Kaplan
Mark H. Kaplan is a professor of clinical medicine at the University of Michigan Health System, where he continues to search for a viral cause of HIV and non-HIV lymphoma. He formerly was the Jane and Dayton T. Brown Professor of Medicine at the New York University School of Medicine; the chief of infectious disease at North Shore University Hospital, in Manhasset, New York; and the founder and director of both the Center for AIDS Research and Treatment and the Jane and Dayton T. Brown and Dayton T. Brown Jr. Viral Laboratory, a pioneering laboratory in the diagnosis of human viral infections.
His current research focuses on the human endogenous retroviruses and centromere biology. He has broad expertise in clinical medicine and in the diagnosis and treatment of infectious illnesses, and continues his work in clinical medicine, having been frequently recognized as a Best Doctor in New York, the Northeast, Michigan, and the United States. He has over 160 peer-reviewed scientific publications covering many areas of infectious diseases. He has worked with Robert C. Gallo since 1984, helping him and his group achieve scientific discoveries that have saved and improved the lives of countless people throughout the world.
Kaplan received his BA in 1962 from Cornell University and his MD in 1966 from Cornell University Medical College.
Mark W. Kline
Mark W. Kline, an internationally respected leader in pediatric HIV/AIDS and global child health, is the J. S. Abercrombie Professor and chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and the Ralph D. Feigin Chair and physician-in-chief of Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. He is also the founder and president of the BCM International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) at Texas Children’s Hospital, a program that encompasses HIV/AIDS care and treatment and health professional education and training programs across sub-Saharan Africa, Libya, and Romania. BIPAI provides HIV/AIDS care and treatment to more than 200,000 children and families, more than any other organization worldwide.
A longtime researcher in pediatric HIV/AIDS, Kline has been the recipient and principal investigator for more than $50 million in research grants from both the NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has authored more than 250 scientific articles and textbook chapters, and has presented over 350 national and international lectures on subjects related to infectious diseases of children and global child health. He directs international research for the NIH-funded BCM Center for AIDS Research and is principal investigator for BCM’s NIH-funded AIDS International Training and Research Program.
Kline’s many honors and awards include the Dag Hammarskjöld Award from the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (1998), the Association of American Medical Colleges Humanism in Medicine Award (2002), the Annual Award in HIV/AIDS of the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention (2006), the Millie and Richard Brock Award of the New York Academy of Medicine (2009), the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Public Service (2010), the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Program’s Annual Humanitarian Award (2013), and the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Global Child Health from the Program for Global Pediatric Research and the Pediatric Academic Societies (2014).
Kline received a BA in biology from Trinity University in 1979 and his MD from Baylor College of Medicine in 1981.
Andrew Rice is currently the Nancy Chang Professor in the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine. He was a staff scientist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory before coming to Baylor in 1990. His research interests focus on virus-host interactions and regulation of gene expression during viral infection.
Rice was awarded the Michael E. DeBakey Excellence in Research Award in 1998 for his work on HIV gene regulation. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2010 for his contributions to research of human viruses.
Rice received a BA in biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a PhD in biology from Brandeis University. He performed postdoctoral studies at the University of Cambridge and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratory (now London Research Institute).