HIVACAT draws together international experts in preventive and therapeutic vaccines at the CosmoCaixa Barcelona

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15/11/2010

HIVACAT draws together international experts in preventive and therapeutic vaccines at the CosmoCaixa Barcelona

• CosmoCaixa Barcelona is hosting the 2010 HIVACAT Symposium titled “Advances in prophylactic and therapeutic HIV vaccines”.

• The symposium is organized by HIVACAT, the aids vaccine research and development project conducted by means of an unprecedented public-private consortium in Spain, placing our country at the forefront of international research in this field. 

• Three international experts –Andrew McMichael, Brigitte Autran and Rafick Pierre Sekaly- will share with the scientific community the latest advances in the work conducted by their research teams, which includes a vaccine candidate in phase 1 clinical trials.

CosmoCaixa Barcelona is hosting the 2010 HIVACAT Symposium titled “Advances in prophylactic and therapeutic HIV vaccines”.  The HIVACAT aids vaccine research and development project is organizing, for the second year in a row,  a symposium with the objective of sharing with the scientific community the latest international advances made in the research geared towards combating the acquire immunodeficiency virus (HIV). 

The event will be held in the presence of three international experts in this field: Sir Andrew McMichael, of the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine - John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford; Brigitte Autran, of the Pitié Salpêtrière Institute and the Pierre et Marie Curie University of Paris; and Rafick Pierre Sekaly, director of the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute Oregon Health and Science at the Port Saint Lucie University in Florida.

The honorary president of the  “la Caixa” Foundation, Josep Vilarasau, the president of Esteve, Antoni Esteve, the co-directors of HIVACAT, Josep Maria Gatell of the Clinical Hospital and Bonaventura Clotet of IrsiCaixa, and the general director of Public Health of the Generalitat de Catalonia, Antoni Plasència, will be participating in the opening ceremony of the 2010 HIVACAT Symposium.

The first presentation at the symposium, titled “Immune control of acute HIV infection”, will be conducted by Sir Andrew McMichael, honorary director of the Human Immunology Unit of the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom since 1998 and the director of the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine of the University of Oxford since 2000.  In 1992 he was elected member of the Royal Society and in 2008 he received the title of “Sir” from the queen of England for his contributions to the medical sciences. 

Over the past few years, McMichael has focused his research on an HIV vaccine based on the stimulation of immune cell response.  His group has designed a vaccine candidate that is currently in phase 1 clinical trials.  This vaccine is called MVA (Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara).  He has also participated in the development of new methods to measure T lymphocyte response.

Dr. Brigitte Autran, immunology and vaccine expert, researcher at the Institute of Research of the Pitié-Salpêtrière  Hospital of Paris, member of the French Society of Immunology and appointed Knight of the French Legion of Honour in 2006, will be conducting a presentation titled “Host Immunity and HIV vaccine design”.  Autran will describe the current state of research on the HIV vaccine and the next steps that should be followed in this field, as well as vaccine projects that are currently underway worldwide.  

Dr. Rafick Pierre Sekaly, director of the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute Oregon Health and Science at the Port Saint Lucie University, in Florida, will carry out a presentation titled “Systems Biology Approach to HIV Vaccine”.  After working on the pathogeny of aids for over 15 years, Sekaly leads a pioneer research group in the development of a method that enables the characterization of qualitative and quantitative traits in immune cell response, and also researches the defects of cells involved in this response.  His group has revealed a route for new approaches in the eradication of the virus.

 

 

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