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Unexpected HIV Discovery, SARS-CoV-2 Resistance Headline Infectious Diseases Conference

The 32nd International Conference on Retroviral Pathogenesis (RetroPath 2022) – hosted by the Infectious Diseases Division of the Department of Medicine was recently held in Vail. Mario Santiago, PhD and Eric Poeschla, MD were co-organizers and co-chairs. This biennial, international gathering of retrovirologists focuses on advances in retrovirus pathogenesis. The conference took place in Vail from October 12–16. Eric notes that Mario did most of the organizational work and was a dynamo at the meeting! Brandi Dolan also assisted superbly with organization and logistics.

Keynote speaker Mamuka Kvaratskhelia, PhD, presented very exciting unpublished data on unexpected mechanisms of action of the new ultra-potent and very long-acting HIV capsid inhibitor lenacapavir. The work surprisingly and fascinatingly extends prior work to a different part of the HIV life cycle. This drug has good potential to help move us closer to functional cure of PLWH. His talk was “Unexpected Mechanisms of Action of HIV-1 Integrase and Capsid-Targeting Antiretrovirals.

Kejun Guo, PhD, gave a great talk entitled “Interferon Resistance of Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variants, reviewing data from a recent paper, as well as unpublished new data. Multiple other division members attended and participated with oral presentations or posters: Arun Annamalai, Brad Barrett, Lorenzo Briganti, Tung Dinh, Reed Haney, Szu-Wei Huang, Kaylee Mickens, James Morrison, PhD, Bridget Murphy, Nikoloz Shkriabai, Lauren Schope, and Guchao Wei. Additional division abstract co-authors were Cara Wilson, MD and Steph Dillon, PhD.

The fall weather cooperated by being blue sky perfect and the aspens were ablaze in yellow. There were invigorating, fun hikes up into the mountains on the free afternoon on Oct. 14. Many thanks to sponsors PLoS Pathogens, Retrovirology, ASM, NCI, and Kindai University for their financial support of this conference.

Topics: Research, Education