Cure Matters: Conversations with Leading HIV Researchers

What cure-focused projects are the world’s foremost AIDS researchers working on? What are the most promising recent developments in the field of cure research? And how close are we to finding a cure? In a series of interviews at the International AIDS Society conference in Vancouver this summer, amfAR put these and other questions to several current grantees.

Dr. Benjamin Burwitz of Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, is trying to determine the mechanism of action that led to the first and only known HIV cure in "the Berlin patient" by attempting to recreate the case in nonhuman primates.

Dr. Paula Cannon of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, is attempting to engineer HIV-proof immune cells, as well as investigating latent reservoirs in the brain.

Dr. Ann Chahroudi of Emory University School of Medicine and Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Georgia, is using nonhuman primate models to evaluate HIV reservoir persistence.

Dr. Timothy Henrich of the University of California, San Francisco, is investigating new drugs aimed at boosting the immune system’s ability to clear the body of HIV.

Dr. Brad Jones of George Washington University, Washington, D.C., is focusing on a specific drug that both reactivates latent HIV and enhances the immune system’s ability to kill infected cells.

Dr. Marta Massanella of the University of California, San Diego, is studying a recently discovered subset of CD4 T cells believed to contribute heavily to the latent HIV reservoir.

Dr. Satish Pillai of Blood Systems Research Institute and University of California, San Francisco, is studying natural factors that affect the size of the latent HIV reservoir.