October 17, 2012
The Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine hosted the 14th Annual International Meeting in Baltimore from October 14 October 17, 2012. Dr. Robert C. Gallo led the IHV meeting, which brought together world-renowned virologists and HIV researchers to discuss breaking scientific advances for better treatment and prevention of both HIV and viruses causing cancer.
"The meeting encourages scientists to share the latest breakthroughs in the fight against HIV and virally-associated cancers," stated Gallo. More than 80 leading virologists and international researchers made presentations during the meeting, including scientists from the IHV and the US National Institutes of Health, in addition to leading African, American, Asian, European, and Russian research institutions. Keynote lectures featured Dr. Harold Varmus, director of the National Cancer Institute, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Also, three leading scientists -- NCI researcher Dr. Thomas Waldmann, Chinese leader Dr. Yi Zeng, and Johns Hopkins professor Dr. John Bartlett -- received Lifetime Achievement Awards for their exceptional contributions to the science of virology.
Highlights of the meeting sessions included a special symposium on the state of HIV in Africa, noting the exceptional results achieved by PEPFAR and encouraging ongoing funding for this vital initiative to treat and prevent HIV around the world. Other highlights presented included: a review of new techniques in the clinical science of antiviral therapy; revealing new laboratory research promoting a deeper understanding of HIV origins and transmission mechanisms; breakthroughs in the structural biology of immunity and vaccines; a full-day group of presentations on the encouraging progress of research into a preventive HIV vaccine; and the latest updates on the connections between viruses and human cancers, a field that has grown significantly since Gallo and his laboratory colleagues pioneered studies of the first oncogenic human retrovirus (HTLV-1), with a lead lecture from Varmus and presentations from NCI, Duke, and Northwestern researchers, as well as institutions in Italy and Japan.
The IHV website (www.ihv.org) provides a complete list of meeting speakers and their topics.