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March 25, 2003



Inaugural Meeting Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Discovery of Double Helix Structure

ATLANTA -- An international inaugural conference entitled "Developments in Nucleic Acids (DNA): Chemistry, Pharmacology and Medicine" will take place April 25≠26, 2003 at the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Administration Building and the Emory University Conference Center in Atlanta. Designed to foster research on nucleic acids, including antiviral and anticancer agents, the conference is sponsored by Emory University, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Emoryís Winship Cancer Institute, the Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), and the International Society for Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids.

Conference presentations will include advances in HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C therapeutics, and developments in the chemistry and pharmacology of nucleic acids. The conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publication in Nature by James Watson and Francis Crick of the double helix structure of DNA.

The welcoming address will be delivered by Robert Pollet, MD, PhD, associate chief of staff for research and development at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center and assistant dean for research at Emory University School of Medicine. James Curran, MD, MPH, dean of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research will deliver the programís first lecture. As part of the two-day symposium, a special presentation entitled "Advances in HIV, HBV & HCV Therapeutics" will be held on Friday, April 25 from 9:00 a.m. until 12 noon in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Administration Building auditorium at Emory.

The symposium also will honor Dr. Kyoichi Watanabe for his lifetime of accomplishments. Prior to joining the Atlanta-based pharmaceutical company Pharmasset, Dr. Watanabe was head of the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry and a member of the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research and professor of pharmacology at the Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Cornell University.

Raymond Schinazi, PhD, professor of pediatrics in Emory University School of Medicine and senior research scientist at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Dennis Liotta, PhD, professor of chemistry at Emory University, are co-chairs of the conference. The conference faculty includes scientists from universities and institutes in the U.S., Belgium, France, Japan, Korea, Poland and Russia, and from several small but successful pharmaceutical companies.

To register for the conference, and for additional information, see the conference web site at

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