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Prominent Virus Researchers Descend Upon Baltimore to Participate in the IHV’s 18th Annual International Meeting

September 19, 2016 | Nora Samaranayake

The Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine commenced IHV’s 18th Annual International Meeting on Monday September 19 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. IHV’s Annual International Meeting attracts hundreds of elite scientists who descend upon Baltimore to share ideas and inspire collaborations. The meeting will be held through Thursday, September 22.

“It really is astonishing that so many leaders in the field of medical virology will be in one place at one time,” said Robert C. Gallo, MD, Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Director, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, who is most widely known for his co-discovery of HIV as the cause of AIDS and, along with his coworkers, for the development of the HIV blood test. “The agenda is as compelling as I have seen since this meeting’s inception.”

This year’s dynamic program, among other themes, will facilitate intense discussions on HIV “cure” research, focus on paths forward to new treatments and vaccine research and bring to light new discoveries that are impacting the field. Global health representatives from around the world will focus on translating laboratory discoveries into public health practice.

During a gala held Wednesday, September 21, the 2016 IHV Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service and the 2016 IHV Lifetime Achievement Award for Scientific Contributions will be awarded to Raymond Schinazi, PhD, Hon DSc, Professor of Pediatrics and Director, Laboratory of Biochemical Pharmacology, Emory University and Member, Board of Directors, Global Virus Network (GVN) and Peter Vogt, PhD, Professor, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, California.

“Ray Schinazi is an outstanding leader in the field of anti-viral drug research and his extraordinary ability in translating research has saved the lives of millions of people globally,” said Dr. Gallo. “Peter Vogt is a pioneer in the study of the genetics, replication cycle and mechanisms of cancer induction by animal retroviruses. His work, more than anyone else’s work in the study of animal viruses, gave us the foundation for understanding human retroviruses.”

In 1996 Dr. Gallo co-founded the IHV with colleagues Robert Redfield, MD, associate director of the IHV and director of IHV’s Division of Clinical Care and Research and William Blattner, MD, retired since January 2016 and formerly associate director of the IHV and director of IHV’s Division of Epidemiology and Prevention. IHV is also comprised of an Animal Models Division, Basic Science Division and Vaccine Research Division. Since 2004, the Baltimore-based Institute has cared for more than 1,000,000 HIV positive individuals in 7 African and 2 Caribbean nations in addition to approximately 6,000 HIV positive Baltimoreans. IHV is internationally renowned for its basic science research, which includes the search for a functional cure and a promising preventive HIV vaccine funded largely by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and in part by others including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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