Professor Sharon Lewin, Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Nitasha Kumar and Professor Jean Francois Delfroissey. Photo credit: IAS?Ryan Rayburn Commercialimage.net
Burnet Phd student Nitasha Kumar has been awarded the prestigious International AIDS Society (IAS)/Agence National Recherche de SIDA (ANRS) Young Investigator prize at AIDS 2012 in Washington.
Nitasha’s research on how dentritic cells assist the establishment of latency, achieved the highest scoring abstract in cure research in the basic science track at the conference securing her the prize of $2000.
Nobel Laureate Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Head of the ANRS Jean Francoise Delfroissey presented Nitasha with her certificate, a moment she won’t forget in a hurry.
She also had the opportunity to mingle with plenary speakers from the conference including the Head of UNAIDS in Africa Sheila Tlou and HIV human rights campaigner Rahab Mwaniki.
“It was really humbling, I’ve always been interested in the humanitarian side of things which is why I decided to focus on HIV research,” Nitasha said.
“The people I met were an inspiration, what they do for the cause and for their countries.”
Nitasha’s superviser, Professor Sharon Lewin was also at the presentation and said it was important prizes like this are awarded to young scientists who are the future of research.
“This is a great achievement for Nitasha and for the Institute, to be recognised at an international level - another indication of the calibre of work we are doing here,” Professor Lewin said.