Recent Developments in HIV Cure Research

Webcast date

April 3, 2014

Robert F. Siliciano MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Director, MD-PhD Program
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Dr. Robert F. Siliciano is a member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a Professor of Medicine and Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  In 1995, his laboratory provided the first demonstration that latently infected memory CD4+ T cells were present in patients with HIV-1 infection.  He went on to characterize this latent reservoir and to show that latently infected cells persist even in patients on prolonged highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).  These studies indicated that eradication of HIV-1 infection with HAART alone would never be possible, a finding which led to a fundamental change in the treatment strategy for HIV-1 infection.  This latent reservoir is now widely recognized as the major barrier to curing HIV-1 infection and is the subject of an intense international research effort.  Dr. Siliciano’s laboratory has gone on to characterize the different forms of HIV-1 that persist in patients on HAART and to explore potential strategies for eradicating the virus from this and other reservoirs.  In addition, Dr. Siliciano’s recent work has provided a theoretical foundation for the success of antiretroviral therapy in controlling HIV-1 replication.

Dr. Siliciano did his undergraduate work at Princeton University and then received his MD and PhD degrees from Johns Hopkins.  After a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, he joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins.  He is the recipient of a Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and two NIH Merit Awards.  In 2002, he became an Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  He is a past Chairman of the NIH AIDS and Related Research Study Section.  He currently directs the MD-PhD Program at Johns Hopkins.  In 2008, he received a major award in AIDS research, the Bernard N. Fields Memorial Lecture at the Conference for Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.

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