Renowned HIV immunologist visits Burnet

Burnet Institute

04 May, 2011

Co-Head of Virology Professor Sharon Lewin and Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb with Professor Brigitte Autran (centre).

Professor Autran comes from the Hôpital Pité-Salpêtrière and the Université Marie et Pierre Curie in Paris.

She has made many key discoveries on the immune response to HIV, development of HIV therapeutic vaccines and understanding how the immune system recovers following HIV treatment.

She is also a member of ORVACS, a privately funded clinical research organization that has performed seminal studies to test new HIV vaccines and is now conducting studies to determine if HIV can be eradicated.

Professor Sharon Lewin facilitated the visit courtesy of an unrestricted educational grant to The Alfred from Bristol Myer Squib.

“She presented some exciting work investigating a unique group of patients called long term non progressors and elite controllers. These patients are able to control HIV and in general don’t become sick,” Professor Lewin said.

“Brigitte’s recent work has been aimed at understanding where the virus hides in these patients in the absence of treatment and what role the immune response plays in keeping the virus under control.

“These studies could potentially one day lead to a therapeutic vaccine aimed at achieving a functional cure for HIV.”

Professor Lewin spent six months in Professor Autran’s lab in 2008 on sabbatical and her lab continues to collaborate with Professor Autran on multiple HIV related laboratory based and clinical studies.

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Burnet Institute

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