2010 Lucian Symposium, HIV/AIDS: Global Health and Infectious Diseases
Nearly 30 years on from the identification of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the causative agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), the global picture remains decidedly mixed. What are the consequences of policy decisions on the burden of disease in vulnerable populations? What lessons can we learn from studying the disease in non-human primates? How has HIV/AIDS influenced modern drug–design? These questions will be the focus of the 2010 Brother Lucian Blersch Symposium, “HIV/AIDS: Global Health and Infectious Disease” from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8 in Jones Auditorium, Robert and Pearle Ragsdale Center.
|12:40 p.m.||Eamonn F. Healy” “HIV–1 Integrase: Rational Drug Design and Drug Resistance”|
|1 p.m.||Stephen Inrig: “The Making of a Chronic Disease: America and the Problem of AIDS”|
|2 p.m.||Jason M. Brenchley: “Nonhuman Primate Models and Novel Therapeutic Approaches”|
While the early optimism regarding a quick solution to the emerging epidemic rapidly dissipated, recent immunological discoveries have reinvigorated the search for an AIDS vaccine. However, the success of treatments utilizing combinations of new drugs designed for different retroviral targets has been offset by the emergence of new drug-resistant HIV–1 strains. Therefore, the tremendous advances already made in the development of anti–HIV medications, the need for continued therapeutic innovation remains as compelling as ever. From research into transmission and epidemiology, to the development of innovative treatment protocols, the current spend of over a billion dollars on HIV/AIDS research is surely set to only increase in the coming decades.
This year’s presenters will include Jason M. Brenchley, a tenure-track investigator in the Molecular Microbiology section of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Brenchley’s research aims toward a better understanding of the mechanisms that underlie HIV disease progression. His group focuses on the development of multiple nonhuman primate models with differing disease progression courses, to study T–cell immunology in HIV–infected individuals or SIV–infected nonhuman primates.
Stephen J. Inrig is an assistant professor of Clinical Sciences, in the Division of Ethics and Health Policy, in the Department of Clinical Sciences, at the University of Texas–Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Dr. Inrig studies the history of medicine and health policy, with a particular focus on the social determinants of health, the process of health policy development, and the consequences of policy decisions on the burden of disease in vulnerable populations. His major disease focus is HIV/AIDS; and has spent many years running programs from youth, especially at–risk youth, in Illinois, California, and North Carolina.
Eamonn F. Healy is the Brother Lucian Blersch Professor of Science and Professor of Chemistry at St. Edward’s University. His current research centers on the design of structure–activity probes to elucidate enzymatic activity. The interdisciplinary approach includes molecular modeling for the simulation of inhibitor binding, over expression of the target proteins and in vitro assays of enzymatic activity and inhibition. Targets include HIV–1 integrase, the c–Kit and src–abl proteins, and the metalloproteinases associated with CXCL16 shedding.
Organized by the School of Natural Sciences at St. Edward’s University, the event is free and open to the public. This symposium honors Brother Lucian Blersch, CSC, a longtime professor of Engineering at St. Edward's University who died in 1986 and in whose name a professorship in the school of Natural Sciences was endowed by a gift from J.B.N. Morris hs ’48, ’52, and his family.