Recent Advances in AIDS and HIV Research

Investigator: Paul Volberding, MD
Sponsor: NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease

Location(s): United States


Since 1998, the NIH-funded Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) have hosted an annual one day National CFAR Scientific Symposium in conjunction with the annual CFAR Directors'/Administrators' meeting. The purpose of the CFAR scientific symposium is to present, in a public forum, recent "cutting edge" advances in HIV/AIDS research for an average attendance of approximately 250-300. The intimate size of the meeting promotes opportunities for interactions between young and more senior investigators that would not be available at the larger annual scientific meetings related to HIV/AIDS. The meeting location rotates so that it is hosted each year by a different CFAR site. This provides geographic diversity for the venue and opportunities for a broader array of participants than for similar research symposia. As has been done for the past fifteen years, one of several AIDS-related research areas is the focus of the annual symposium. In 2011, the Duke University CFAR hosted the 15th Annual CFAR Research Symposium with focus on five scientific areas: "Host-Viral Interactions during HIV Infection", "HIV-Associated Malignancies and Co-Infections", "Emerging Vaccine Strategies", "HIV/AIDS Health Disparities", and "Approaches to an HIV Cure". Speakers were selected from the various NIH-funded Centers for AIDS Research leadership, their scientific membership, and from nationally and internationally recognized research institutions. In addition to the participating CFAR Directors and invited leaders in the field, the remaining participants for the annual National CFAR Symposia are chosen based on specific criteria. First preference is given to young investigators who have received developmental funds from an NIH-funded CFAR program; second preference to young investigators with demonstrable potential in HIV/AIDS research; third preference is to other senior investigators engaged in HIV/AIDS research. In all cases women and individuals from underrepresented ethnic groups are encouraged to attend through targeted advertising and travel scholarships. Continuing Medical Education credits have been offered for attendees and access to web casts of the symposia are now available for interested investigators who are not able to attend.

The purpose of the Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) Symposium is to provide a venue to present and discuss recent advances in HIV/AIDS research. This is a unique forum for presentations of the most "cutting edge" research based on one of several AIDS-related topics. The symposium provides an environment that fosters interactions between senior HIV investigators and junior investigators that will one day be leaders in the field.