AIDS 2014: Engagement Tours at Burnet Institute

Burnet Institute

24 July, 2014

Kieran Cashin presents his HIV tropism work to AIDS 2014 delegates.

By Lydia Hales

A group of 17 delegates toured Burnet Institute’s laboratories today as part of the official International AIDS Society AIDS 2014 Engagement Tours.

The interactive tours provided delegates with insights into some of Burnet’s cutting edge HIV research projects.

Head of Research Support and Facilities Associate, Professor Bruce Loveland and postdoctoral research officer Dr Jasminka Sterjovski, guided the delegates to six stations to meet some of our scientists.

The tour included the international Clinical Research Laboratory (iCRL), the Rapid Diagnostics Laboratory and the revolutionary point-of-care Visitect® CD4 test, HIV tropism, latent HIV infection, HIV in the brain, and microbicides.

“For us this was a privileged opportunity to show off the skills and intellectual passions of our researchers and the laboratories,” Associate Professor Loveland said.

He said the tour highlighted exploration of HIV latency in both lymphocytes and in the brain, and the exciting new knowledge into reactivating latent virus, to attack infected cells with a new range of drugs.

“Another focus described the use of powerful virus sequence data analysis to predict which particular cell receptors an infecting virus strain may use, and hence help identify which drug therapies are most relevant.”

The tour also demonstrated Burnet’s broad approaches to translational research and delivery of appropriate health care to communities, through the development of ‘point of care’ diagnostic kits, the training of health care workers to use these, and research into microbicides to limit virus transmission.

“We have shown the attendees Burnet’s core business – medical research, practical action – in highly specialised laboratories and the community,” Associate Professor Loveland said.

Dr Cath Latham discusses her work on microbicides.

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Burnet Institute

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