NEWS FROM THE EMBO COMMUNITY Changing the course of HIV A global initiative Towards an HIV Cure was launched under the auspices of the International AIDS Society. The first objective of a working group of internationally recognized scientists that has been brought together to guide this initiative is to define the scientific priorities that research needs to address to tackle HIV persistence in patients on Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART). EMBO Member FRANÇOISE BARRÉ- SINOUSSI from the Institut Pasteur, France, is co-chairing the working group and advisory board. There are currently two distinct definitions of a cure for HIV. One is called a steriliz- ing cure — the eradication of HIV from targeting the residual replication of the virus in patients on HAART; blocking the proliferation of latently infected cells and eliminating infected cells by immune intervention strategies; targeting abnormal immune activation and inflammation The scientific strategy Towards an HIV Cure will be officially launched at a scientific sympo- sium in advance of the AIDS 2012 conference in Washington DC, USA, from 22 – 27 July. More information can also be found at: www.iasociety.org/Default.aspx?pageId=349 the body. The other, a functional cure, would not eliminate the virus but allow a person to remain healthy without antiretroviral medicine. This in patients on HAART. global scientific initiative will provide a scien- “We do not know which strategy will prove tific road map towards both of these approaches. successful, but most probably a combined Several strategies are being explored according to the current basic knowledge on HIV replica- tion and persistence: purging the reservoirs by reactivating the virus in latently infected cells; approach will be necessary to achieve a cure,” says Françoise Barré-Sinoussi who received the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for co-discovering HIV. Expansion for the Pasteur Institute, Rome Construction work is almost complete. The ISTITUTO PASTEUR – FONDAZIONE CENCI BOLOGNETTI (www.istitutopasteur.it), the Italian member of the Institut Pasteur International Network, will have new laboratories. The newly built facilities are located in premises at Sapienza University in Rome close to other facilities and researchers. The Institute, which was established according to the legacy of Beatrice Cenci Bolognetti, has a thirty-year history of funding research projects at Sapienza University. It directly interacts with the Institut Pasteur in Paris and encourages the study of mechanisms that regulate the fundamental processes of life and disease. The Institut Pasteur International Network – or Réseau – includes 32 members worldwide. Over the past 30 years, the Institute has supported research projects in microbiology, virology, molecular genetics, cellular and molecu- lar immunology, as well as the biology of malaria and other vector borne diseases. Recently, the institute has also promoted the study of stem cell biology. A call for applicants will be announced short- ly. “The expansion represents an opportunity for scientists from all over the globe to contribute to the research mission of the Pasteur Institute,” says President Paolo Amati. “The selected candi- dates will be chosen by an international scientific committee and awarded five-year positions that are renewable depending upon performance,” adds Amati. The Istituto Pasteur – Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti ➔ Non-profitfoundation ➔ Part of the Institut Pasteur International Network since 1970 ➔ Research activities supported by training programs and initiatives to promote science in society ➔ Tradition of excellence in the life sciences ©2012 EMBO EMBOencounters | Summer 2012 | communications@embo.org 15 © Institut Pasteur France