CFAR to host AIDS Vaccine in 2010

sarah twichell

MD/MPH student Sarah Twichell received a Young Investigator Award at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in February. The award recognizes her research on cancer trends in children with HIV.

Global meeting focuses on vaccine research

In Brief

Grounded in multidisciplinary research

APHA honors faculty and students

This past winter, MD/MPH student Sarah Twichell attended the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco. There she had the good fortune—backed by good science—to receive a Young Investigator Award from CROI, regarded as the premier HIV/AIDS research meeting. The award recognized her poster on trends in incidence of cancer among HIV-infected children. Currently a fourth-year medical student, Twichell conducted her award-winning research last year as a Thomas F. Sellers Jr. Scholar at Rollins.

AIDS Vaccine 2010 Conference Poster

She is just the type of early-career scientist that organizers of the upcoming AIDS Vaccine 2010 conference in Atlanta hope to attract. The Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), based in the RSPH, serves as the local host for the meeting, the largest global scientific conference focused on AIDS vaccine research. Approximately 1,000 researchers, clinicians, community advocates, policy-makers, and funders are expected to attend September 28 through October 1.

Pathologist Eric Hunter, co-director of the Emory CFAR, will chair the meeting. Rollins leaders James Curran and Carlos del Rio, also CFAR co-directors, will serve as co-chairs, along with former Emory scientist Harriet Robinson, who leads vaccine research and development for GeoVax. Alan Bernstein, executive director of Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, is conference host.

Through the Emory CFAR, more than 100 scientists and clinicians are working to help individuals, families, and populations affected by HIV/AIDS, locally and globally.

"Our clinicians at Emory provide care to more than 7,500 patients with HIV each year—one of the largest cohorts in the country," says Hunter, a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and one of the world's leading experts on retroviruses. "The development of a viable vaccine is a particularly relevant objective for the community. Atlanta and AIDS Vaccine 2010 provide an outstanding opportunity to participate in scientific exchange and debate in the very real face of the disease and its direct impact on the global community."

HIV rates in Atlanta and Georgia

Atlanta has more than 60% of HIV cases in Georgia, CFAR researcher Paula Frew reported at the CROI conference in February. More than 50,000 new infections occur yearly in the United States, according to the CDC. And the number of HIV/AIDS cases is increasing faster in the South compared with other areas of the country. Kaiser State Health Facts ranks Georgia as ninth in the nation in the number of new HIV/AIDS cases, with more than 3,000 new HIV infections diagnosed in 2007.

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