Aldatu Licenses Technology from Harvard

One Step Closer to Affordable HIV DrugResistance Test

Harvard recently entered into a licensing agreement with Aldatu Biosciences for exclusive use of the PANDAA technology. Using PANDAA, Aldatu, a biotech start-up based at LabCentral in Cambridge, is developing a rapid HIV drug-resistance test for patients failing first-line antiretroviral therapy (ART).

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The Job of a Lab Manager

A lab manager is responsible for the day-to-day activities of a research laboratory, making sure that the work on the bench and behind the scenes runs smoothly. Click on image to see full infographic.

Lab Manager Job icons

A special thanks to Don Hamel, Lab Manager of the Kanki Lab at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

Hope Renewed in Durban

AIDS 2016 Durban, opening session

By Scott Dryden-Peterson

The 2000 International AIDS Conference in Durban was a watershed moment. Prevailing opinion turned from thinking that it was impossible to treat AIDS in Africa to believing that it was impossible and immoral not to try. Nelson Mandela, who had stepped down as president of South Africa in 1999, closed the meeting. “Let us not equivocate. A tragedy of unprecedented proportion is unfolding in Africa,” he said. “Let us combine our efforts to ensure a future for our children. The challenge is no less.”

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Botswana Harvard Research at AIDS 2016

Researchers from the Harvard AIDS Initiative and the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute made significant contributions to the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016), held July 18-22, in Durban, South Africa. Here is a list of their presentations:

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Florence Revisited: America’s History of HIV Travel Restrictions

Scientists and protesters at 1991 International AIDS Conference in Florence

Over 18,000 people met in Durban, South Africa this July for the 21st International AIDS Conference. We look back to a time 25 years ago, when protesters at the 1991 meeting threatened a boycott because of severe U.S. restrictions for HIV-positive travelers.

The mood in Florence was combative. It was June 1991. Scientists, activists and reporters had gathered in Italy to share the latest findings at the International AIDS Conference. Unfortunately, there were no breakthroughs to announce. Continue reading

Jonathan You: Health Justice and the Importance of Being Heard

Jonathan You at work in the Essex Lab

Teenagers aren’t generally known for their self-awareness and commitment to service. Jonathan You is an exception.

The nineteen-year-old rising junior at Harvard is majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a minor in Global Health and Health Policy. “My academic interest in global health was sparked by Case Studies in Global Health: Biosocial Perspectives, a class that provided me with novel viewpoints on healthcare inequity and social medicine,” he said.

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Botswana Leads in HIV Treatment

From left: Lyorlumun Uhaa, UNICEF; Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS; Max Essex, Harvard AIDS Initiative; Pride Chigwedere, UNAIDS, at a meeting for African Leaders in Addis Ababa. Photo by Aida Muluneh

Billions of dollars are spent every year on HIV/AIDS treatment programs. But how well are they working?

In the African country of Botswana, where 25% of adults (aged 16-49) are HIV positive, the answer is extremely well. In a recent paper in The Lancet HIV, researchers showed that Botswana is close to reaching the ambitious UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals. Continue reading

Sikhulile Moyo

President Mogae Sikhulile Moyo Photo by Dave Cliff

A native of Zimbabwe, Sikhulile Moyo moved to Botswana after completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Zimbabwe, Harare in 1996. He started working at the Botswana Harvard Partnership as a Lab Assistant in 2003 and was promoted to Laboratory Coordinator, then Deputy Lab Manager, then to his current position as Lab Manager.

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The Blood in the Freezer

BHP Lab Technician

One tiny vial of blood contains a remarkable amount of genetic information about both the person from whom it was drawn and infectious agents like HIV circulating at the time of the needle prick. Because HIV mutates so quickly, having access to lots of samples to study is a valuable resource. “It’s a diamond for science,” said Sikhulile Moyo, Laboratory Manager at the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP). He was referring to the blood samples banked in the BHP freezers. “Specimens would be a more accurate term,” he corrected, “biological samples freely given to be processed for diagnosis or disease monitoring.”

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After the Capture: The Care and Treatment of Data

Erik van Widenfelt

“Data! Data! Data!” he cried impatiently. “I can’t make bricks without clay!”
~ Sherlock Holmes

Science depends on data. A large clinical trial like the Botswana Combination Prevention Project (BCPP) depends on lots of data. When the multi-year trial in 30 Botswana villages concludes, researchers hope their data will provide a better understanding of how to prevent HIV infections. Continue reading