Science Cafe explores possibility of HIV cure

by Lisa Spellman, UNMC public relations | August 09, 2019

Image with caption: Howard Gendelman, M.D.

Howard Gendelman, M.D.

Howard Gendelman, M.D., the Margaret R. Larson Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases Chair in the UNMC Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, will discuss the quest to find a cure for HIV at the Aug. 13 Omaha Science Cafe at 7 p.m. at the Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St.

In early July, it was announced that for the first time researchers led by Dr. Gendelman at UNMC and Kamel Khalili, Ph.D., at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia, have eliminated HIV -- the virus responsible for AIDS -- from living animals.

The finding marks a critical step toward the development of a possible cure for human HIV infection.

Dr. Gendelman also is credited in unraveling how functional alterations in brain immunity induce metabolic changes and ultimately lead to neural cell damage for a broad range of infectious, metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders.

These discoveries have had broad implications in developmental therapeutics aimed at preventing, slowing or reversing neural maladies.

Dr. Gendelman also is credited for determining that AIDS dementia is a reversible metabolic encephalopathy.

As a result of intense translational investigations, his work has led to novel immunotherapy and nanomedicine strategies for Parkinson's and viral diseases currently being tested in early clinical trials.

Dr. Gendelman obtained a bachelor's degree in natural sciences and Russian studies with honors from Muhlenberg College and a medical degree from the Pennsylvania State University-Hershey Medical Center. He has served on the UNMC faculty since 1993.

Science Cafes involve a face-to-face conversation with a scientist about current science topics. They are open to everyone (21 and older) and take place in casual settings like pubs and coffeehouses. Each meeting is organized around an interesting topic of conversation. A scientist gives a brief presentation followed by a Q-and-A period.

Pizza will be provided for the first 50 people. See more information about Science Cafes.

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