Though the Harvard AIDS Initiative has been conducting innovative research since 1988, the sustained level of excellence wouldn’t be possible without a constant influx of smart, dedicated, young men and women. In this issue, we highlight some of those creative minds, including both their stories and their accomplishments (thus far).
Growing up, Kathleen Wirth knew she wanted to see the world outside of her small hometown of Irmo, South Carolina. She felt she didn’t quite fit in. Her mother’s family had fled from Cuba in 1960. Her grandfather, who’d been a respected doctor in Havana, worked as a hospital janitor until he could qualify to practice medicine in America.
Max Essex is the Lasker Professor of Health Sciences at Harvard University and the Chair of the Harvard AIDS Initiative and the Botswana Harvard Partnership. He talked with Martha Henry, HAI’s Director of Communications, about mentoring students and young scientists.
Loading file cabinets onto a truck in Lobatse, Botswana wasn’t in Morgan Packers’ job description. Neither was pressing contractors to bring renovations up to code at the Nyangabgwe Hospital Clinic, but unhesitatingly, she did both.
Raabya Rossenkhan was always interested in science, so majoring in biology at the University of Botswana was an obvious choice. When she was offered a scholarship to continue her education, she saw the need to study HIV/AIDS. The year was 2003. In Botswana, the HIV prevalence among pregnant women was almost 40%.
First he had to convince Max Essex. Elliot Eton had just graduated from high school when he ended up in Essex’s office. After receiving his acceptance letter to Harvard, Elliot assumed he’d begin college in the fall with the other freshmen.
Educating young women has many health and economic benefits, but does continued schooling reduce a young woman’s risk of HIV infection? A study conducted in Botswana suggests that it does.
Congratulations to Roger Shapiro, a key member of the Harvard AIDS Initiative team, for his recent appointment as an Associate Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
We wanted to update you on Dr. Iain MacLeod, another young HAI researcher, who is building a biotech start-up around a rapid HIV drug-resistance test that he and Dr. Christopher Rowley developed in the Essex Lab.