Category Archives: Q&As with Experts

Q&As with Experts

Innovative programming to combat HIV, TB and cholera: A conversation with CDC’s John Vertefeuille

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In this third post in a series of conversations with officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discussing the CDC’s role in global HIV and tuberculosis research and development, Science Speaks sat down with John Vertefeuille, PhD – the country director for CDC in Haiti. There he leads a team of 55 and […]

Young investigators unearth important discoveries in global health

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Young investigators and Fogarty students presented select posters on global health at a special gallery during the 49th Annual Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) in Boston last month. The event was sponsored by the National Insitutes of Health Office of AIDS Research, the Accordia Global Health Foundation and the IDSA Education and Research Foundation. In this video interview, Sten Vermund, MD, PhD, director of the Institute for Global Health at Vanderbilt University, discusses one of the student “highlights” of the evening – Krutika Kuppalli, MD, from the University of California, San Diego – and her research on HIV and leptospirosis in Chenai, India.

Scientists find new antibodies to help in HIV vaccine quest

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In a new article published today in the journal Nature, a team of researchers reported the isolation of 17 novel antibodies capable of deactivating a broad spectrum of HIV variants – which could be huge in the development of an HIV vaccine.

The team of researchers hailed from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), the Scripps Research Institute, Theraclone Sciences and Monogram Biosciences Inc.

Science Speaks interviewed one of the paper’s co-authors, Wayne C. Koff, PhD, on this exciting new science to get a better grasp on the thinking behind broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) and the AIDS vaccine development process.

Video: Chris Matthews plays hardball with Dr. Anthony Fauci

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MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews interviewed Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the National Institutes of Health Dr. Anthony Fauci at a Capitol Hill briefing Tuesday in commemoration of 30 years of the AIDS pandemic, hosted by the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR).

The interview covers topics from the latest scientific developments in combating the disease, challenges to maintaining federal funding, and an assessment of President Obama’s leadership in the fight against AIDS.

IAS 2011: Where we go from here

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Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks out on treatment as prevention, pre-exposure prophylaxis and the way forward

More details were fleshed out on several compelling studies finding antiretroviral treatment is effective in preventing HIV infection – two pre-exposure prophylaxis studies as well as a large study (HPTN 052) looking at treatment of HIV infected persons in stable discordant partnerships that showed significant protection for the uninfected partner.

Science Speaks addressed these new studies and other topics Monday evening with Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Anthony Fauci at the 2011 International AIDS Society meeting in Rome.

“The most important cause of HIV you’ve never heard of”

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At a recent briefing on Capitol Hill entitled, “Making the Case for Cost-Effectiveness of Vaccines for Global Health,” Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, talked about a little-known infection called schistosomiasis. A disease caused by parasitic worms, Hotez called it “the most important cause of HIV you’ve never heard of.” Moving […]

An interview with Zambian global health advocate Carol Nyirenda

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Carol Nyirenda – executive director of the Community Initiative for Tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS and Malaria plus related diseases – has been living with HIV for several years and is a tuberculosis survivor. A Zambian native, her advocacy work initially in TB created the foundation for her career in national and global activism that now stretches beyond HIV, TB and malaria. Nyirenda serves on the Stop TB Partnership’s New Diagnostics Working Group as a community representative, and is a board member representing communities of people living with TB, HIV and malaria for UNITAID, where she has successfully lobbied for resources for drug resistant TB diagnostics, according to the Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign where Nyirenda used to work.

She sat down with Science Speaks while on her latest trip to the U.S. and discussed access to treatment and care services in Zambia, how critical Global Fund investment is to these services in her country and what has changed since the corruption allegations surfaced in 2010.

Peace Corps’ Buck Buckingham: AIDS at 30

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Warren W. Buckingham III – best known as Buck – is director of the Office of AIDS Relief at the Peace Corps. In his career he has played critical roles in fighting AIDS domestically and globally. Most recently he had a major impact as the Kenya country coordinator for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program for six years, overseeing a budget that grew from $30 million in 2003 to nearly $600 million today. He began his work in AIDS some 26 years ago in writing a proposal that secured funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to establish the AIDS Arms Network in Dallas, Texas, one of the first domestic demonstration projects for enhanced care of people living with AIDS in the U.S. (These grants are largely viewed as having provided the foundation for the Ryan White CARE Act, and Buck worked for a period of time in the early 90s at the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration in the Ryan White Program). Soon after Buck started on that project, he was diagnosed with HIV. For years, he has spoken publicly about living with the disease, helping to erase stigma and shame both in America and Africa. John Donnelly interviewed Buckingham for the final interview in a Science Speaks series on 30 years of AIDS.

Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr: This would be the epidemic of our generation

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Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, is one of the world’s leading experts in HIV and tuberculosis care and treatment. An infectious disease specialist, she directs the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP) and the Center for Infectious Disease Epidemiologic Research at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and is chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Harlem Hospital Center. Dr. El-Sadr has led early trials studying antimicrobial gels that aim to inhibit HIV transmission, and is known internationally for her leadership in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. She is a 2008 MacArthur Foundation fellow and has held several leadership posts at the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association.

Thirty years ago this past Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the first cases of what would become HIV in its publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Science Speaks interviewed Dr. El-Sadr as part of its special series commemorating 30 years of AIDS, and she discusses the parallels in treating populations in the U.S. and in Africa, the greatest achievements in the epidemic’s 30 years, and what drew her to the cause.