With this R13 application we request funding to support, in part, the costs for planning, organizing, and publicizing the 36th Annual Symposium on Nonhuman Primate Models for AIDS. This symposium will be hosted by the Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC). It will be held at Bell Harbor International Conference Center on October 2-5, 2018. Lodging will be offered through Edgewater Hotel. In addition to the funds requested in this R13 proposal, support will come from registration fees paid by meeting participants and contributions from corporate sponsors. The overall format of the conference will begin with registration and an evening reception on October 2nd, which will be followed by two and a half days of scientific presentations driven by both invited speakers and accepted oral abstracts. A poster session will occur on the evening of October 3rd, and there will be a banquet on October 4th. At the time of writing, we have confirmed two keynote speakers, Dr. Thomas Hope and Dr. Irini Sereti. Dr. Hope will open the meeting on the morning of October 3rd with an overview of key findings in HIV transmission via NHP models, and Dr. Sereti will give the next keynote detailing new trials and treatments in HIV infection from a clinical perspective. In addition, Timothy Ray Brown, known as ?the Berlin Patient?, who is the only individual to be cured of AIDS, will be speaking at the opening reception on his personal experiences and the need for an HIV cure. The principal theme of this meeting will be ?clinical translation of NHP studies,? with the objective to stress the importance of translation of NHP studies to clinical studies and interventions. To achieve this, we have a combination of both clinicians and NHP researchers on the scientific organizing committee, and we have invited clinicians to join an NHP researcher for each session as a chair and an invited speaker. In addition, we are organizing a clinical mentoring lunch, where we also invite additional clinicians from the Seattle area to mentor young investigators on how to translate their research to clinical settings. Abstract driven session talks will be given by individuals whose abstracts were accepted for oral presentations based on the quality and originality of the submission, with preference to abstracts that include clinical translation of NHP studies. There will be an evening poster session for meritorious abstracts that cannot be accommodated in the oral sessions. All poster and oral abstracts will be published in the Journal of Medical Primatology (JMP), as done previously for this symposium since 1989.
Our aim i s that this program will help disseminate the latest research findings in NHP models of AIDS, while fostering an environment that will facilitate discussion between basic and clinical researchers. The ultimate goal of this group of researchers is to identify the most effective use of NHPs to better design interventions that prevent infection with HIV or maintain long term control of HIV replication. We expect including both clinical and basic research presentations will spark valuable discussion among a diverse group of researchers at different career stages. In sum, by bringing people from such a diverse array of sites, we hope to attract scientific views from people with a wide variety of backgrounds who will develop future collaborations. Together, we hope that the 36th Annual Nonhuman Primate Models for AIDS Symposium will identify key ways in which the basic researchers can perform the most essential experiments to help the HIV community.
HIV remains a major health threat, and novel interventions to prevent and better treat or cure HIV infection are critically needed. Non-human primate research provides an essential model for studying HIV, and the annual symposium of non-human primate models of AIDS provides an important environment for sharing and improving studies, networking and fostering new collaborations. In particular, this year the theme is translation of NHP models to clinical interventions, and a mix of clinical and non-human primate researches will provide an excellent platform for novel studies to better translate basic HIV research using non-human primate models to clinical settings, and thus potentially improving interventions for HIV transmission and pathogenesis.