Commemorating 30 years since the first reported HIV/AIDS cases in 1981, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) is convening a symposium on the pivotal role behavioral and social science plays in combating and eventually conquering the HIV/AIDS pandemic. This symposium honors the significant contributions of behavioral and social science to HIV/AIDS research thus far and highlights ways in which it will continue to advance the understanding, treatment and prevention of the disease moving forward.
Despite extraordinary progress, more is required to accomplish the ultimate goal of eradicating HIV/AIDS. Leading experts recently published a paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine, "Thirty years of HIV and AIDS: Future challenges and opportunities", which identified three primary research and implementation goals to end the pandemic: 1) expanded testing, 2) innovative prevention tools and 3) a cure. This event will address these recent recommendations through presentations offered by world-renowned researchers showcasing relevant NIH-funded projects.
The paper's lead author, NIH/NIAID's Dr. Carl Dieffenbach, will provide opening remarks. UCLA's Dr. Thomas Coates will discuss the topic of expanded testing through his work in Africa and Asia. Columbia University's Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr will address the topic of effective prevention strategies through her work in New York City and Africa. Lastly, Harvard University's Dr. David Bangsberg will cover the goal of seeking a cure through treatment adherence as demonstrated in his studies throughout Africa. The presentations are aimed at showcasing ways in which behavioral and social science is shaping the next generation of HIV/AIDS research and
propelling efforts to achieve these research and implementation goals.
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David Bangsberg (Harvard University)
Thomas Coates (UCLA)
Carl Dieffenbach (NIH/NIAID)
Wafaa El-Sadr (Columbia University)
David Bangsberg, Harvard University
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David Bangsberg, MD, MPH is Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health, Director of International Programs at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard, and Director of the International Program of the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research with appointments in the Harvard School of Medicine and Mbarara University of Science and Technology. He completed medical school at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, his internal medicine and chief residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York, and Fellowships in Infectious Disease and AIDS Prevention at the University of California, San Francisco. He also holds Master's Degrees in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley and the History and Philosophy of Science from Kings College, London.
Dr. Bangsberg's research focuses on social behavioral factors related to HIV treatment access, treatment adherence and treatment outcomes in impoverished populations. Dr. Bangsberg has published over 150 manuscripts and raised over 40 million dollars in funding related to the study of social, behavioral, and structural determinants of HIV treatment in vulnerable populations. He is on the Editorial or Advisory Boards of PLOS Medicine, JAIDS, AIDS Patient Care and STDs, AIDS Care and AIDS and Behavior. He was the second highest ranked NIH funded RO1 investigator in HIV/AIDS in 2007 and has over 120 peer reviewed publications.
Thomas Coates, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA)
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Thomas J. Coates, PhD, is the Director of the UCLA Program in Global Health, and is the Michael and Sue Steinberg Endowed Professor of Global AIDS Research within the Division of Infectious Diseases at UCLA. He co-founded the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) at UCSF in 1986 and directed it from 1991 to 2003. He was the founding Executive Director of the UCSF AIDS Research Institute, leading it from 1996 to 2003. His areas of emphasis and expertise are HIV prevention, the relationship of prevention and treatment for HIV, and HIV policies. His domestic work has focused on a variety of populations, and he is currently finishing a nationwide clinical trial of an experimental HIV preventive intervention focused on high-risk men. He is also finishing domestic trials of post-exposure prophylaxis.
With funding from USAID and WHO, he led a randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of HIV voluntary counseling and testing for individuals and couples in Kenya, Tanzania, and Trinidad. He is now directing a 48-community randomized clinical trial in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Thailand to determine the impact of strategies for destigmatizing HIV on HIV incidence community-wide. He is also leading a prevention clinical trial in South America as part of a 5-country effort, and has a trial in China to determine the impact of prevention in the context of care. He is co-principal investigator of the NIAID-funded HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), and is conducting policy research domestically and internationally. He was cited in Science in 2002 as the 4th-highest-funded scientist in the clinical, social, and behavioral sciences and was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2000.
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Carl Dieffenbach, NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Carl W. Dieffenbach, Ph.D., serves as Director of the Division of AIDS (DAIDS) at NIAID. Dr. Dieffenbach oversees a global HIV/AIDS research portfolio of more than $1 billion and a staff of more than 150 federal employees.
Dr. Dieffenbach is responsible for planning, implementing, managing, and evaluating divisional programs in the following areas:
In 1992, he joined DAIDS as the chief of the preclinical therapeutics group. Upon his appointment, Dr. Dieffenbach spearheaded important research initiatives that accelerated the progress of basic research on HIV pathogenesis and directly resulted in new clinical studies of novel AIDS therapies. In 1996, he was promoted to director of the DAIDS Basic Sciences Program, where he remained until being selected as the division director in 2008. Dr. Dieffenbach played a key role in restructuring the DAIDS-supported clinical trials research networks and has actively fostered collaboration and partnerships with other federal agencies, international research organizations, professional societies, foundations, community advocacy groups, and industry.
- Basic laboratory research
- Discovery and development of therapies and treatment strategies for HIV infection, related co-infections and co-morbidities, and the complications associated with treated HIV disease through basic research and clinical trials
- Discovery and development of vaccines, topical microbicides, and other prevention strategies through basic research and clinical trials
In 2011, Dr. Dieffenbach received the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry of the University of Maryland. Dr. Dieffenbach has been a guest lecturer at various conferences and co-authored a highly praised laboratory manual.
Wafaa El-Sadr, Columbia University
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Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA, is the director of ICAP at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. She also is professor of clinical medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University, and leads the Global Health Initiative at the Mailman School.
Dr. El-Sadr is a recognized leader in global health with interests in HIV, tuberculosis, maternal and child health, capacity building, and health systems strengthening. Her work demonstrates a deep appreciation of the breadth of issues needed to transform the health of populations at local and global levels. For two decades, Dr. El-Sadr led the Division of Infectious Diseases at Harlem Hospital, where she was instrumental in the development of an internationally recognized comprehensive HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis program focused on service, training, and research. As director of ICAP, Dr. El-Sadr leads a staff of more than 1,100 people around the world who are providing technical assistance to resource-limited countries for HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs, as well as related conditions.
Dr. El-Sadr holds an MD from Cairo University, an MPH in epidemiology from the Mailman School, and an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases. She also serves on a number of U.S. and international public health and research committees, and has been the principal investigator for a large number of grant-funded projects. Dr. El-Sadr's work and scholarship have appeared in many leading journals and she has won a number of awards, including being named a MacArthur Fellow and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors in medicine.
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Questions/comments about this symposium can be directed to OBSSR's Dana Sampson at Sampsond@od.nih.gov.