Institute of Human Virology Hosts 21st Annual International Meeting of Top Scientists on Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in America and the Intersection

Published : Friday, October 4, 2019, 8:32 am
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The Honorable Parris Glendening, The Honorable Kathleen Kennedy Townsend to Receive Lifetime Achievement Awards for Public Service and Warner Greene to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award for Scientific Contributions

BALTIMORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine commenced IHV2019 held Thursday, October 3 through Friday, October 4 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. This year “Progress in HIV/AIDS: Challenges in 2020” opened with highlights about the recent plan for "Ending the HIV Epidemic by 2030” with expert opinions by ADM Brett Giroir, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Anthony Fauci, MD, Director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Nora Volkow, MD, Director, National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), among other notable speakers. The Meeting focuses on two critical issues, including leveraging scientific advances in the field of HIV to end the epidemic in America and integrating resources to address the ongoing opioid epidemic and prevent its impact on the lives of HIV-infected patients. The Annual International Meeting attracts hundreds of elite scientists who descend upon Baltimore to share ideas and inspire medical virus research collaborations.

“We have known for some time that it is, at least in theory, possible to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and I am pleased we are focusing on these efforts in addition to uniquely focusing on the intersection of infectious disease and opioid use disorder,” said Robert C. Gallo, MD, the Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Co-founder and Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Co-founder and International Scientific Advisor of the Global Virus Network (GVN). “We are grateful to our nation’s leaders for advancing efforts to end the epidemic. Further, clinicians are uniquely positioned to advance addiction research as many infectious disease patients coming into the clinic are also afflicted with opioid use disorder.”

During a gala held this evening, the 2019 IHV Lifetime Achievement Awardees, who are nominated and voted upon by IHV faculty, will be honored.

The 2019 IHV Lifetime Achievement Award for Scientific Contributions will be presented to Warner Greene, MD, PhD, Director, Gladstone Center for HIV Cure Research, Nick and Sue Hellmann Distinguished Professor of Translational Medicine, Founding and Emeritus Director, Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology (GIVI). Dr. Greene was a leader in the new field of the molecular biology of all human retroviruses, beginning with HTLV-1, the first discovered human retrovirus back in 1980, by Dr. Gallo and his colleagues, as well as HIV by the mid 1980’s. Dr. Greene’s research focused on many aspects of the understanding of the biology of the virus, including its molecular biology, its genes and their products – how it replicated, how it induced, and other aspects of resistance to infection and the pathogenic mechanisms of how HIV causes disease. In recent years, he has turned his attention towards finding new ways to advance science so that a patient could live a normal life without any drug therapy whatsoever. Warner has also expanded his work to include global health activities in sub-Saharan Africa, and he has mentored more than 130 students and fellows during his career.

“Warner Greene is a national treasure in the molecular biology of very important viruses and genes,” said Dr. Gallo.

Two deserving individuals will receive the 2019 IHV Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service.

The first will be presented to The Honorable Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Director of Retirement Security, Economic Policy Institute, Lt. Governor of Maryland (1995-2003). As Maryland’s first woman Lt Governor, along with Gov. Parris Glendening, she recruited Dr. Gallo and his colleagues to the State. The Institute has great respect for the Lt. Governor for helping people in need and advancing human health in multiple areas, where she has worked very hard and lent her time. She became one of IHV’s early board chairs, is a current IHV Board member and has been a tremendous force in paving the way for the Institute’s success here in Maryland. The Lt. Governor previously served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States, led the fight to make Maryland the first—and only—state to make service a high school graduation requirement, and has served in numerous other public service roles.

The second will be presented to The Honorable Parris Glendening, President, Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute, President, Governors’ Institute on Community Design, Governor of Maryland (1995-2003). Among other important benefits from Governor Glendening, who led the recruitment of Dr. Gallo and his colleagues, Robert Redfield, MD and William Blattner, MD, to form the Institute, it was the Governor’s personal commitment to their mission, having shared publicly about the death of his brother from AIDS, which brought them closer. In addition, the Governor has a long history of public service, including his current national and international advocacy on smart growth, sustainability, global climate change, land conservation, transit-oriented development and equity. He was previously elected in local positions in the State and served as a professor at the University of Maryland, College Park for 27 years.

“For both the Governor and Lt. Governor, we not only honor them with this Lifetime Achievement Award in Public Service because of their vital roles in the formation of the Institute, which never would have happened without them, but also as a public ‘thank you,’ for their local, national and international service and leadership,” said Dr. Gallo.

Since IHV’s founding, the Baltimore-based Institute faculty and staff have grown from 50 to more than 300, and the Institute's patient base has grown from just 200 patients to currently more than 5,000 in Baltimore and Washington, DC, and more than 2 million in African and Caribbean nations since 2004. IHV is also internationally renowned for its basic science research, which includes a promising preventive HIV vaccine funded largely by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and, in part, by others including National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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About the Institute of Human Virology

Formed in 1996 as a partnership between the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, the University System of Maryland and the University of Maryland Medical System, IHV is an institute of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and is home to some of the most globally-recognized and world-renowned experts in all of virology. The IHV combines the disciplines of basic research, epidemiology and clinical research in a concerted effort to speed the discovery of diagnostics and therapeutics for a wide variety of chronic and deadly viral and immune disorders - most notably, HIV the virus that causes AIDS. For more information, and follow us on Twitter @IHVmaryland.


Nora Samaranayake

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