Dr. Stephen Lagakos, an international leader in biostatistics and AIDS research and professor of biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), died in an auto collision on Monday, October 12th in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He was 63 years old. His wife, Regina, and his mother, Helen, were also killed in the daytime accident, along with the driver of the other car. Continue reading →
On April 13th the Harvard AIDS Initiative was honored to host Festus Mogae, the former President of Botswana, who served from 1998-2008. Max Essex, Chair of HAI, introduced President Mogae and outlined his achievements. Continue reading →
Though he is now an Associate Professor in HIV/AIDS Research at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine, as well as the Scientific Director of the HIV Pathogenesis Programme at the Doris Duke Medical Research Institute at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, not so long ago Thumbi Ndung’u was a graduate student working with Max Essex at the Harvard AIDS Initiative.
He earned his PhD from Harvard in 2001, receiving the Haber Award in recognition of his “outstanding, original and creative thesis work that makes a fundamental contribution to our understanding of a biological problem important to public health.” After graduation he returned to Africa to work as a Research Scientist and the Laboratory Director at the Botswana–Harvard Partnership. He currently works in KwaZulu Natal, where approximately 40% of women reporting to antenatal clinics are HIV positive. His research focuses on HIV pathogenesis, host genetics, viral factors, and immune responses.
On a recent visit to Boston, Dr. Ndung’u spoke with Spotlight Editor, Martha Henry. Continue reading →
The development of expertise requires sustained periods of practice. 10,000 hours is often cited as the amount of time necessary to achieve expert status. By that standard, Kim Armstrong, a graduate student in the lab of Max Essex at the Harvard AIDS Initiative, recently became an expert in HIV research. By her estimate, she has spent approximately 10,500 hours at her lab bench studying how drug resistance mutations affect the viral fitness of HIV. Continue reading →
The “Big Three” diseases of Africa are HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB. To date, we haven’t developed a successful vaccine for any of them, which means that drugs are of enormous importance in controlling the epidemics. For malaria and TB, the spread of drug resistant strains has wreaked public health havoc, restricting our ability to control and eliminate the diseases. Continue reading →
It’s no secret that graduate students spend many hours each day in the lab, doing the exacting labor of research science, but what exactly are they doing in there? To answer that question, we shadowed Kim Armstrong, a student in the laboratory of Max Essex. Continue reading →
Though dinner with President Festus Mogae was one of the highlights of the 2008 Friends Trip to Botswana, several travelers cited the small meetings with participants in the Botswana-Harvard Partnership’s (BHP) clinical trials as the most valuable experience. Continue reading →
Ireen Kiwelu is a Fogarty Fellow conducting research in the Essex Lab at the Harvard School of Public Health. Born in Moshi, Tanzania, at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, she was educated in Tanzania, Denmark, England and Norway. She returned to her hometown to work as a Senior Research Scientist at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center.