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Mary Ellen Hackett
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Scientists and clinicians whose discoveries have shaped the understanding of HIV disease will provide updates on the status of HIV/AIDS research and patient care and discuss approaches to overcome major remaining challenges at a scientific symposium hosted by Hood College in partnership with the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL) on September 23-25.   

"HIV in 2024: Progress, Problems and Prospects" will be held on the Hood campus in Frederick, Maryland, and will emphasize aspects of HIV research with the potential to impact clinical care and prevention approaches, including vaccines, as well as research on Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), which can cause a variety of tumors and disease syndromes, particularly in individuals with HIV-related immunodeficiency.  

Led by FNL investigators Mary Carrington, Ph.D. and Jeffrey Lifson, M.D., both known for their many contributions to research on HIV/AIDS, the symposium is for students, trainees, active researchers, and clinicians, including those who may not presently be engaged directly in HIV research. 

“We probably know more about HIV than any other virus and more about the disease it causes than any other viral disease,” said Carrington, an internationally recognized expert in immunogenetics of disease, including HIV/AIDS, and head of FNL’s Basic Science Program. “Many of the concepts, approaches, and general knowledge pertaining to HIV/AIDS that will be covered in the symposium are applicable and shed light on other human diseases.” 

Lifson is director of the AIDS and Cancer Virus Program at FNL. His work involves a combination of virology and immunology including the development of experimental model systems, with the aim of understanding HIV pathogenesis and approaches to prevent and treat HIV infection. 

Carrington and Lifson have assembled a program of noted HIV researchers for the symposium. “All of the speakers are world-renowned experts in their fields of expertise,” Lifson said. “Each has made significant contributions to our understanding of HIV disease, including advances in basic science, prevention, and treatment.” 

Salim S. Abdool Karim, a physician, scientist, and director of the Centre for AIDS Program of Research in South Africa, whose work provided proof-of-concept that antiretroviral drugs can prevent sexually transmitted HIV infection, will deliver the keynote address on Monday, Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m. 

“With strong ties to the global HIV community, Drs. Lifson and Carrington have put together an outstanding scientific program covering the very latest in basic and clinical research,” said Ethan Dmitrovsky, M.D., FNL director and president of Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., which operates the FNL for the National Cancer Institute. “This meeting will give attendees current, cutting-edge information about the HIV/AIDS field.” 

Symposium topics include epidemiology of HIV, vaccine and non-vaccine prevention, treatment of HIV infection, KSHV and the HIV reservoir. Previous FNL-Hood symposia have explored AI in cancer research and imaging science in cancer biology.  

The symposium will begin Monday, September 23 with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by Abdool Karim’s lecture, which is open to the public.  

To learn more and to register for the event, please visit the symposium website