Martell Investigator Weighs in on H.I.V. Breakthrough

Doctors announced on Sunday that a baby had been cured of an H.I.V. infection for the first time, a startling development that could change how infected newborns are treated and sharply reduce the number of children living with the virus that causes AIDS.

The T.J. Martell Foundation is proud of our history of funding innovative HIV/AIDS research; Dr. Max Essex is our Principal Investigator and we reached him on site at the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute for comment.

“‘Cure’ and ‘eradication’ of HIV are words that were never used by AIDS researchers until very recently. But progress with powerful drugs has been very impressive in recent years. You will hear such terms used more and more.”

Dr. Essex is Chair of the Harvard AIDS Initiative (HAI), the Lasker Professor of Health Sciences at Harvard University, and Chair of the Botswana–Harvard AIDS Institute (BHP). He received his DVM degree at Michigan State University, his PhD at the University of California Davis, and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Tumor Biology at the Karolinska Institute School of Medicine in Stockholm.

In 1982, Essex hypothesized, with Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier, that a retrovirus was the cause of AIDS. For this the three shared the 1986 Lasker Award, the highest honor given for medical research in the U.S.

For more information about Dr. Essex’s AIDS research, please click here; for the full article, please click here.

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