Center News

Fred Hutch hosts free community event with 'Berlin Patient' June 19

Hear how Timothy Ray Brown, the first person cured of HIV, inspires Center scientists during 'From One to Many: The Cure Agenda for HIV/AIDS at Fred Hutch,' 7-8:30 p.m., Seattle University, Pigott Auditorium

June 7, 2013
Timothy Ray Brown

Timothy Ray Brown is the first person cured of HIV. Known as the Berlin Patient, Brown is originally from Seattle.

Courtesy Ray Brown Foundation

More than one million people in the U.S. live with HIV, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention project there will be 55,000 new cases in our country every year. Globally more than 34 million people live with the virus. Timothy Ray Brown, also known as the Berlin Patient, is the first person cured of HIV.

Meet Brown and hear how he inspires Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center scientists' quest for a cure when Fred Hutch presents a free community event "From One to Many: The Cure Agenda for HIV/AIDS at Fred Hutch" Wednesday, June 19, 7-8:30 p.m. at Seattle University's Pigott Auditorium. A social hour from 6-7 p.m., with light refreshments and informational tables, will precede a panel discussion moderated by KING 5's Margaret Larson.

"The event is open to all, and we are hoping many Fred Hutch faculty and staff members will attend," said Juan Cotto, community outreach manager.

Dr. Julie McElrath, director of the Center's Vaccine and Infection Disease Division, will provide a brief overview of the pioneering research at Fred Hutch and introduce three scientists who are leading the attack on HIV/AIDS, working to cure the virus with cell-based therapies and educating the community:

  • Dr. Keith Jerome of VIDD and the Clinical Research Division is also a professor and head of the Virology Division at the University of Washington. Jerome focuses on chronic viruses and finding ways these viruses dodge the immune system
  • Dr. Hans-Peter Kiem of the Clinical Research Division is a member of Fred Hutch's internationally recognized stem cell transplant team. Kiem holds the Jose Carreras/E. Donnall Thomas Endowed Chair for Cancer Research. He is also a professor at the UW.
  • Dr. Michele Andrasik of VIDD is a social scientist working to increase the availability of HIV/AIDS educational resources to marginalized communities. She also focuses on innovative methods for involving communities at the onset of clinical research.

Background on Brown

Originally from Seattle, Timothy Ray Brown was studying in Berlin, Germany when he was diagnosed with HIV in 1995. After controlling the virus for many years with antiretroviral therapy, Brown discovered he had acute myeloid leukemia. Following chemotherapy, Brown received stem cell transplants in 2007 and 2008. The cells came from a single donor who carried a rare gene mutation—the lack of the CCR5 receptor—that made the cells naturally immune to HIV. The transplants eradicated Brown's cancer and transferred the genetic variation to his immune system, curing him of both leukemia and HIV.

For more information about this opportunity to hear Brown and learn about work to extend his cure from one to many, contact externalrel@fhcrc.org or (206) 667-4211.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.