Since the beginning of the epidemic ~30 years ago, almost 60 million people have been infected with HIV and 25 million have died of HIV-related causes. According to UNAIDS and WHO, ~33 million people are currently living with HIV, close to 3 million new infections have been diagnosed and 2 million deaths have been attributed to AIDS-related causes since 2008, including ~500,000 children born with HIV. Although important progress has been made in preventing new HIV infections and prolonging the lives of HIV+ individuals with antiretroviral therapy, the numbers of people infected and living with HIV continues to increase in different geographic areas and among new demographics. The opportunity to avert or change the course of HIV-1 infection and subsequent development of AIDS exists. New technological approaches to scientific research abound in the environment provided by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and its Harvard Medical School affiliated institutions where important new vaccine strategies are currently in development in AIDS research and AIDS-related disorders. The design of effective vaccines and drugs is evolving rapidly. However, a detailed understanding of the HIV-1 virus and how it interacts with the human immune system is essential. A critical component of this effort is the training of young investigators to be well-versed in both basic and clinical sciences, who will dedicate themselves to these objectives long-term. Our mission is to train basic and clinical scientists capable of conducting independent high-quality research using the diverse disciplines of immunology, cell biology and virology. Long-term scientific training programs are critical to this effort to limit he consequences of HIV-1 infection, curtail the epidemic through prophylaxis of HIV-1 transmission and halt the progress of this disease with a broad-spectrum vaccine. These primary considerations led to the development of this training program in 1990, which is directed by Harvey Cantor and supported by a renowned group of faculty mentors comprised of leading investigators in diverse fields. Through its affiliation with the Harvard Medical School, the Training Program is further enhanced by its affiliation with the Harvard CFAR and the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. In this application, we describe the progress and achievements of this program during its tenure and outline objectives for its continuation over the next five years.
This Training Program is designed to prepare doctorate degree recipients in basic and clinical immunology-based approaches and their application to AIDS and AIDS-related disorders in preparation for careers as independent investigators in AIDS research.
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