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Institute of Human Virology (IHV) & Director Robert Gallo Honor Renowned Clinical Researchers Henry Masur and Kiyoshi Takatsuki with Lifetime Achievement Awards; Ceremony Held During IVH’s 20th Annual International Meeting in Baltimore

The 20th Annual International Meeting of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine is being held from October 21-25, 2018 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. This year, among other viral and cancer-related topics, the meeting is holding special sessions on the 40th anniversary of discovery of the first human retrovirus, Human T cell Leukemia Virus (HTLV), and the 15th anniversary of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The IHV’s Annual International Meeting attracts hundreds of elite scientists who descend upon Baltimore to share ideas and inspire medical virus research collaborations. “Our meeting is designed to highlight cutting-edge science and provide a platform for provocative discussion,” said Robert C. Gallo (photo), MD, The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Co-founder and Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Co-founder and Director of the Global Virus Network (GVN). “It is clear from yesterday’s session that there is still much research needed forty years since announcing our discovery of HTLV-1 at a Cold Spring Harbor meeting. It is my hope that governments far and wide will recognize this need and provide the resources needed. I am looking forward to hearing about the enormous success of PEPFAR during our special sessions tomorrow, and about the lessons learned which could potentially be applicable to the HTLV pandemic today.” The meeting program’s organization was led by Man Charurat, PhD, Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention of the IHV at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In addition to the Institute’s special sessions on HTLV and PEPFAR this year, the meeting is comprised of interesting sessions on HIV, cancer research, particularly immune therapy of various cancers, and emerging global health challenges. During a gala held Wednesday, October 24, the 2018 IHV Lifetime Achievement Awardees—Henry Masur, MD, and Kiyoshi Takatsuki, MD, PhD-- who are nominated and voted upon by IHV faculty, were honored.

HENRY MASUR, MD

The 2018 IHV Lifetime Achievement for Excellence in Medical Education, Clinical Care, and Clinical Research was awarded to Dr. Masur, Chief of the Critical Care Medicine Department at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center.

“Dr. Masur was already a leader in the early 1980s and helped the medical field confront the then-new epidemic called AIDS,” said Dr. Gallo. “Currently, Dr. Masur is tackling the ongoing AIDS epidemic disproportionately affecting marginalized people with health disparities in Washington DC, which has been highly successful in controlling HIV transmission, and for the early, rapid development of hepatitis C therapeutics. Dr. Masur is also a terrific role model and mentor for several HIV and infectious disease physicians, qualities not seen enough these days. We are pleased to honor Dr. Masur with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.”

KIYOSHI TAKATSUKI, MD, PHD

The 2018 IHV Lifetime Achievement for Excellence in Clinical Research was awarded to Dr. Takatsuki, Professor Emeritus at Kumamoto University in Japan.

“Dr. Takatsuki was the first to recognize an epidemiological disease occurrence of a specific kind of human leukemia, called Adult T cell Leukemia (ATL),” said Dr. Gallo. “He and his colleagues also discovered very specific features of the leukemic cells that are a virtual diagnostic marker of this leukemia. They defined particular presence of ATL in epidemic form in the south-western part of Japan. Later, my colleagues and I discovered the cause of this disease, HTLV-1. Dr. Takatsuki’s milestone observation contributed to our ability to open a whole new field of human retroviruses. We are very pleased to honor Kiyoshi Dr. Takatsuki with IHV’s top award.”

Since the HV’s founding, the Baltimore-based Institute faculty and staff have grown from 50 to more than 300, and the Institute's patient base has grown from just 200 patients to currently nearly 6,000 in Baltimore and Washington, DC, and more than 1.5 million in 10 African and 2 Caribbean nations since 2004. The IHV is also internationally renowned for its basic science research, which includes a promising preventive HIV vaccine funded largely by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and, in part, by others including National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

[IHV press release] [Institute of Human Virology] [Dr. Robert Gallo] [Global Viral Network]