HIV Vaccine Awareness Day 2014: the research continues

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HVAD logo

May 18th marks HIV Vaccine Awareness Day (HVAD). This day is an opportunity to reflect on the work which is currently being done in all areas of the community to find a safe and effective vaccine against HIV.

HIV Vaccine Day was born from a speech given by Bill Clinton in 1997 in which he stated that “only a truly effective, preventive HIV vaccine can limit and eventually eliminate the threat of AIDS.” Scientists have certainly come a long way since then, but it seems they still have much further to go to complete this colossal task.

The development of a vaccine against HIV-1 infection remains a significant global challenge. It is particularly difficult to develop a vaccine for HIV due …

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Beyond the Headlines: HIV in the news

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HIV research has made headlines around the world recently, featured significantly in the science and health sections of many leading media outlets, including the BBC, the Guardian and the New York Times.

 

‘Early treatment ‘curessecond US HIV-positive baby’ BBC News 6 March

The first news story comes from an AIDS conference in Boston, announcing that a baby born to a HIV-positive mother has been cleared of the virus following early treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART). As the mother was not undergoing treatment for HIV during pregnancy, the newborn was treated with a high dose triple combination of ART (AZT, 3TC and NVP) within hours of birth. The normal approach for newborns would be lower doses of two drugs, with aggressive …

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Welcoming Robin Weiss, Reviews Editor for Retrovirology

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Robin Weiss

We would like to welcome Professor Robin Weiss to the editorial team as Reviews Editor for Retrovirology. Professor Weiss is Emeritus Professor of Viral Oncology at University College London, and is currently working on immune responses to HIV in relation to HIV vaccine development. His laboratory works on neutralizing llama antibody fragments as tools for HIV vaccine and microbicide development. In addition to this, they have adapted techniques used to study HIV neutralizing antibodies to other emerging virus infections in particular SARS, H5N1 influenza and rabies.

Robin is possibly best known for his discovery of endogenous retroviruses in chickens and for the identification of CD4 as the cell surface binding receptor for HIV. Without these important breakthrough discoveries, we …

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Welcoming Monique Nijhuis to the Associate Editorial team

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Nijhuis

Retrovirology is delighted to welcome a new Associate Editor to the team, Dr Monique Nijhuis, associate Professor of Virology at the University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands. Dr Nijhuis’s laboratory works on antiviral escape and focuses on HIV and viral hepatitis. Dr Nijhuis’ contribution as a member of the scientific committee for the Frontiers of Retrovirology meeting has been invaluable, and we greatly look forward to working with her on the journal.

 

Andrew Lever and Mark Wainberg

Welcoming Paul Gorry and Johnson Mak to the Associate Editorial team

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Professors Paul Gorry and Johnson Mak

The rate of submission of articles to Retrovirology continues on a steady upward curve as it consolidates its position as the leading specialist Virology journal. To help us to deal with this welcome increase in workload and also to expand the range of expertise within the Associate Editorship, Retrovirology is delighted to announce that two new Associate Editors have agreed to join the current line-up. We warmly welcome Professor Paul Gorry from the Burnet Institute in Melbourne and Professor Johnson Mak from Deakin University, Geelong to the Associate Editorial team. They bring their own specialist areas of knowledge to the journal and their own fresh perspectives and we look forward to working with them.

Andrew Lever

Mark Wainberg

 

 

Far from black and white: Insights into the diversity of SIV

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Image courtesy of Minnesota Zoo www.mnzoo.com

Retrovirology is pleased to announce the publication of its 1000th article, a fantastic milestone for the journal.

The article is from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, analysing new simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs) identified from nine black-and-white colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza) from the Kibale National Park in Uganda. With limited taxonomic and geographic sampling of non-human primates, particularly in East Africa, the research presents an interesting insight into the diversity of SIV.

The researchers used “unbiased” deep-sequencing techniques to sequence the entire coding region for each virus, a method that does not depend on genetic similarity to viruses previously identified.  The authors identified two distinct SIVs sharing only 72% nucleotide identity, calling the viruses SIVkcol-1 and SIVkcol-2, detected …

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Retrovirology publishes its 1000th article

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1000th article

Retrovirology, currently enjoying its 10th anniversary, saw the publication of its 1000th article this week:

Discovery and full genome characterization of two highly divergent simian immunodeficiency viruses infecting black-and-white colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza) in Kibale National Park, Uganda, by Michael Lauck and colleagues.

Guest blogger, Liam Prestwood from University of Cambridge,  has summarised the key findings by Lauck et al., and the impact that the discovery of the two divergent SIVs will have on primate retroviral research.

At this significant milestone in the journal’s career, we reflect on the excellent  research published in the journal over the last ten years that has brought the journal to where it is now – the leading specialist virology journal. A key indicator of …

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Frontiers of Retrovirology Conference 2013

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FOR 2013

 

 

This year, the Frontiers of Retrovirology conference was held in the historic city of Cambridge and was a great success. A selection of the world’s leading researchers in human and animal retroviruses delivered inspiring and exceptional talks. Throughout the event, tributes were paid to Kuan-Teh Jeang, founder of the conference and of Retrovirology, including the poignant Kuan-Teh Jeang memorial lecture, which was given by Stephen Goff of Columbia University. The conference included two successful interactive poster sessions, the winner of which was Alex Compton from Institut Pasteur (Abstract P18). Clare Jolly from University College London was the winner of the short talk prize, for her talk at the viral assembly session (Abstract O4). Thank you to all …

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Monsef Benkirane elected a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology

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Benkirane

Retrovirology Associate Editor Monsef Benkirane has been elected a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology. Fellows are members of the academy, which is the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). The mission of the academy is to recognize scientists for outstanding contributions to microbiology and provide microbiological expertise in the service of science and the public. Members of the AAM, are elected through a highly selective, annual, peer-reviewed process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.

Details of the Academy can be found on http://www.asm.org/

In memory of Kuan-Teh Jeang, a virologist who helped to promote open access publishing and leadership development among Asian scientists

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Ben Berkhout, Kung-Teh Jeang, Shibo Jiang at the 4th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Sydney, Australia, 22 July 2007

A tribute by Shibo Jiang
(Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China shibojiang@fudan.edu.cn)

On the morning of January 29, 2013 when I turned on my computer, I saw the first email saying “It is with great sadness that we have heard Kuan-Teh Jeang passed away suddenly on Sunday night”. My first reaction is “Oh my God, Teh must make another joke on me”. It was only a few days before that he had asked me if I could submit my review article on HIV entry inhibitors to Retrovirology on the promised date. I told him that I needed to extend the deadline for three weeks since I was very busy writing grant applications. He pretended to be very angry, saying …

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