Tracking Down the AIDS Pathogen

International Aids Researchers to meet at HZI


Noted international experts will be gathering at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) on January 31, 2008, to discuss the current state of AIDS research. In addition to scientists from Germany and Europe, experts from Israel and the United States will be explaining what makes the HI-virus (HIV) so special, what therapies for HIV infection exist and what progress is being made toward the development of an HIV vaccine. The "'Day on AIDS" is slated to begin at 11 a.m. at the HZI Forum and will end around 6 p.m.


Infectious diseases, in general, are responsible for the greatest number of fatalities worldwide, and sadly, HIV/AIDS is one of the leaders on this list. Since the discovery of HIV in 1980, more than 25 million people have died of AIDS. Nearly twice that number is infected with the virus today. Africa, in particular, with infection rates of up to 30 percent of the population, is faced with an enormous social problem.  There is still no cure for AIDS and there is no protective vaccine against HIV infection. On the contrary, HIV is still a major challenge for researchers due to its transformative characteristics.


Among the lecturers invited to the HZI "Day on AIDS" is the American researcher, Dr. Ruth M. Ruprecht, from Boston. Dr. Ruprecht has earned many honors and awards in the past for her contributions to AIDS research. Dr. Monika Gröne, from the University of Erlangen, will explain where the AIDS pathogen comes from and where HIV/AIDS research is headed in the future. Besides her research activities, Dr. Gröne is also the editor of Retrovirus Bulletin, which appears regularly on the AIDS website Other experts will be lecturing on the structure of HI viruses, the reproductive cycles of the virus in the human body and will discuss protective measures against the spread of HIV/AIDS.


We would like to invite you to join us and the international experts for this in-depth one-day symposium to examine and discuss the many sides of AIDS research. All lectures will be conducted in English. The symposium is open to all those who are interested in AIDS research, but we ask that prospective participants register free-of-charge with Dr. Sabine Kirchhoff so that we have an overview of attendance. Her eMail address is: The entire program for the symposium can be found at:


The "Day on AIDS" is sponsored by the international Ph.D. program "MIDITRAIN", Helmholtz International Research for Infection Biology (HIRSIB) at HZI, the Hanover Medical School and the Veterinary Foundation/Hanover University. This symposium is the sixth in a series of lectures at HZI whereby internationally-recognized experts discuss key issues in the field of infection research.