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?
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.
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.