Q&A with Dr. Max Essex of Harvard AIDS Initiative

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Our funded research doctor, Max Essex, is the Lasker Professor of Health Sciences at Harvard University, as well as the Founding Chair of both the Harvard AIDS Initiative and the Botswana Harvard Partnership. He talked with Martha Henry, HAI’s Director of Communications, about mentoring students and young scientists and we’ve excerpted this interview here.

You’re primarily a research scientist. How important is your role as a mentor?

Extremely important. I think mentoring students to learn how to do research is one of the most important things I do.

How do you do that?

Essex teaching freshmen
Essex teaching freshmen seminar

You have to emphasize the importance of generating new hypothesizes to explain how or why a virus like HIV is causing a certain amount of pathology or damage in a certain way, or how the immune response can respond to it, or how it gets transmitted from one person to the next—all of those kinds of issues. But the important part of generating new knowledge is addressing new imaginative questions or hypothesizes. And you can only do that if you think in a multi-dimensional way. It’s probably the most important thing for students to learn to become successful scientists.

To read the rest of this interview, please click here.

 

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