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World AIDS Day celebrations concluded at Doherty Institute with the mHIVE Symposium uniting HIV researchers and community members across Melbourne.
Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research, The Hon Frank McGuire officially launched the symposium saying the profile of Melbourne science needs to be lifted.
“The Victorian Government is totally supportive of science and medical research and we want you to thrive,” Mr McGuire said.
“What we are trying to do is get to zero – it’s a bold vision but it is one we can achieve. We need to be laser-like in our focus to try and reach this vision.”
The special symposium featured invited international speaker Dr Jacob Estes from NCI Frederick in Washington, The Alfred and Monash University Director of HIV, Professor Jenny Hoy and Living Positive’s John Manwaring.
Dr Estes presented his latest research on ‘imaging the reservoir’, where he looked at how HIV impacts lymphoid tissues in an animal model.
Professor Hoy gave an overview of HIV in Victoria and talked about the importance of PrEP and the urgent need to end discrimination and stigma.
Living Positive’s John Manwaring spoke candidly about his journey since being diagnosed HIV-positive and urged researchers to put a human face to their work.
“Take your work and connect it back to the people. There are lives behind HIV as interesting as yours,” Mr Manwaring said.
“It is so encouraging to see the people in the room who have dedicated their lives to HIV. I thank you profoundly.”
The future of HIV treatment, care and prevention was on show through oral and poster presentations from Melbourne’s leading young researchers.
Burnet Institute had a number of posters displayed and three researchers, Dr Tom Angelovich and Dr Muriel Aldunate from the Centre for Biomedical Research, and Kathleen Ryan from the Centre for Population Health, presented their latest research as finalists in the ViiV Young Investigator Awards.
Congratulations to Burnet’s Berhan Haile who received the ViiV HealthCare Young Investigator Poster Prize (PhD student category) and Dr Aldunate who won the ViiV HealthCare Young Investigator Oral Award.
Doherty Institute Director, Professor Sharon Lewin and Burnet Head of Tachedjian Laboratory, Associate Gilda Tachedjian (either end) with prize winners Berhan Haile (Burnet Institute), Dr Muriel Aldunate (Burnet Institute) and Dr Jenny Anderson (Doherty Institute).