Editorial introductions

Section Editor(s): Cooper, David A.; Pantaleo, Giuseppe; Sékaly, Rafick-Pierre; Pulendran, Bali

Current Opinion in HIV & AIDS: January 2012 - Volume 7 - Issue 1 - p v–vi
doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e32834f50b0
Editorial introductions

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS was launched in 2006. It is one of a successful series of review journals whose unique format is designed to provide a systematic and critical assessment of the literature as presented in the many primary journals. The fields of HIV and AIDS are divided into nine sections that are reviewed once a year. Each section is assigned a Section Editor, a leading authority in the area, who identifies the most important topics at that time. Here we are pleased to introduce the Editors for the journal and the Section Editors for this issue.

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David A. Cooper

David A. Cooper AO FAA is Scientia Professor of Medicine and Director of the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. The Kirby Institute is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing to conduct research into blood-borne viruses including HIV and viral hepatitis in Australia with the ultimate aim of reducing the burden of disease for the affected communities.

The major responsibilities of the Kirby Institute are the epidemiology and surveillance of blood-borne viruses in Australia, including research aspects and the coordination and conduct of clinical trials of innovative therapies and vaccines for HIV and viral hepatitis, as well as an active clinical research program with particular emphasis on HIV infection, viral hepatitis and sexually-transmitted infections.

In addition to the Kirby Institute, Professor Cooper is a physician in the Immunology/HIV/Infectious Diseases Clinical Services Unit at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, Australia, one of the largest inpatient and outpatient services for the treatment of HIV disease in Australia. He is also Director of the St Vincent's Hospital Centre for Applied Medical Research. Professor Cooper is an author on over 750 published scientific papers and is on the editorial boards of several international journals.

Internationally, Professor Cooper is recognized as a leading HIV clinician and clinical investigator. He is a past President of the International AIDS Society. He is a Director of HIVNAT, a clinical research and trials collaboration based at the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre at the Chulalongkorn University Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. He is actively involved in strategic studies of antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection in the developed and developing world as well as studies of HIV vaccines and chemoprophylaxis.

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Giuseppe Pantaleo

Professor Giuseppe Pantaleo was born June 17, 1956 in Bari, Italy. In 1980, he received his degree in medicine with full marks and honors, and in 1983, he became board certified in clinical hematology.

His scientific career in the field of immunology began in 1983 working on the development of a limiting dilution cloning system which was critical for the subsequent studies aimed at the phenotypic and functional characterization of circulating T lymphocytes. From 1985 to 1987 he was amongst the pioneers in the delineation of the molecular and biochemical mechanisms involved in signal transduction in human T lymphocytes.

In 1989, Professor Pantaleo joined the Laboratory of Immunoregulation, NIAID, NIH. He was the first to demonstrate the defective clonogenic potential of CD8+ T lymphocytes and the selective defect of HIV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes. He then studied the relationship between immune response and viral reservoirs in different anatomic compartments. He demonstrated that lymphoid organs function as a major reservoir for HIV, and that active virus replication occurs in lymphoid organs throughout the course of HIV disease including the prolonged period of clinical latency. These findings have completely changed the clinical and therapeutic management of HIV infection. In the following years, Professor Pantaleo has continued to provide important contributions to the understanding of immunopathogenesis of HIV infection. Amongst these it is noteworthy to mention the delineation of the virologic and immunologic events associated with primary HIV infection, and the observation that the proportion of CD8+ T cells involved in antiviral immune response was substantially higher compared to what was previously estimated.

Since 1997 he has pioneered the field of immune-based intervention in HIV infection and he has been part of a European program for the development of a vaccine against HIV-AIDS. Since 2005, he is leading the Poxvirus T-cell Vaccine Discovery Consortium, an international program to develop an HIV vaccine supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Professor Pantaleo is author and co-author of about 250 publications in international scientific journals, he is on the editorial boards of several international journals and serves as ad hoc reviewer for several international journals.

Professor Pantaleo is Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Immunology and Allergy (IAL) and of the Laboratory of AIDS Immunopathogenesis at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Since 2007, he has also been Executive Director of the Swiss Vaccine Research Institute. Since 2009, he has been a member of the WHO Vaccine Program scientific committee and a member of the science committee of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise.

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Rafick-Pierre Sékaly

For the past year Dr Sékaly has been the Co-Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida (VGTI-FL), USA, an institute focused on the development of better immune therapies and vaccines for chronic viral diseases and cancer. Recently he received the Avant Garde award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for his work on the HIV reservoir. Dr Sékaly obtained his PhD in biochemistry at the Université of Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1984. He has been involved in the areas of AIDS and AIDS pathogenesis for the past fifteen years. Dr Sékaly's group has been at the forefront of novel assay development which has allowed the characterization of the qualitative and quantitative features of the immune response at the single cell level. He is now fully focused on applying systems biology to unravelling defects in different cells (innate and adaptive) of the immune response.

In addition to his scientific work and leadership at VGTI -FL, Dr Sekaly is the Founder and Scientific Director for the National Laboratory of Immune Monitoring. Dr Sekaly is one of four winners of the Avant-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This award carries a grant of $500,000 per year for five years. Dr Sekaly has also been awarded with his colleagues at The University of California, San Francisco, USA a $25 million award for work aimed at identifying novel approaches to eradicate HIV.

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Bali Pulendran

Dr Bali Pulendran is a Charles Howard Candler Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Director of the Innate Immunity Program at the Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University in Atlanta, USA. He received his undergraduate degree from Cambridge University, UK, and his PhD from the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, in Melbourne, Australia, under the supervision of Sir Gustav Nossal. He then did his post-doctoral work at Immunex Corporation in Seattle, USA. Dr Pulendran's work focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which the innate immune system regulates adaptive immunity and harnessing such mechanisms in the design of novel vaccines against global pandemics. More recently, he has developed the use of systems biological approaches to predicting the efficacy of vaccines, and deciphering new correlates of protection against infectious diseases. Dr Pulendran's research is published in front line journals such as Nature, Science, Cell, Nature Immunology, and The Journal of Experimental Medicine. Furthermore, Dr Pulendran is the recipient of numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health, (including two concurrent MERIT awards), and from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of Clinical Investigation and The Journal of Immunology, serves on the AIDS Vaccine Research Subcommittee, and is frequently invited to speak in the plenary sessions of many national and international conferences.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.