It’s 1981 and an epidemic is beginning. From Patient 0 to now, over 30 years later, the HIV/AIDS pandemic has claimed more than 35 million lives globally. Early on, epidemiologists, virologists, immunologists and physicians from government and academia raced against the clock to pinpoint the etiology of AIDS so as to develop a vaccine to prevent transmission of the devastating and fatal virus.
A French research team was instrumental in performing the painstaking, crucial experiments that were fraught with failure but ended in success in discovering HIV as the etiological cause of AIDS: Professor Luc Montagnier and Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their landmark work. Prof. Barré-Sinoussi is currently the research director from INSERM and professor and head of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections at the Pasteur Institute.
It is impossible to overstate the worldwide impact of Prof. Barré-Sinoussi’s extraordinary career. She has made salient discoveries that have increased our understanding of the pathogenesis of HIV and is internationally regarded for her infectious disease research using the nonhuman primate model of HIV infection. By combining biomedical research and advocacy, Prof. Barré-Sinoussi has helped ensure those in most need of prevention and treatment measures benefit from advances made by the HIV/AIDS scientific community.
Prof. Barré-Sinoussi is the keynote speaker at the Conference on Cell and Gene Therapy for HIV Cure 2014; a major conference taking place August 26-27, 2014 here at the Hutchinson Center. The conference, hosted by defeatHIV in collaboration with the Hutchinson Center, the University of Washington Center for AIDS Research (UW CFAR) and the UW Virology Division, is a forum for the international community to highlight curative approaches for HIV infection. Prof. Barré-Sinoussi is speaking at a special event to describe her research, answer questions and lead a community discussion on August 27th at 7-8:30 pm held in Pelton Auditorium. This session is open to the public.
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