I. Introduction to Viruses and HIV
II. Why Gene Therapy Might be a Reasonable Tool for Attacking HIV
III. The Grand Challenge: Engineering Immunity
Part I: Introduction to Viruses and HIV
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In this set of lectures, I describe the threat facing the world from the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and a bold proposal on how we might meet the challenge of eliminating this disease by engineering the immune system. In part 1, I provide a broad introduction to viruses, describing their basic properties and my own history of studying the replication RNA viruses which led to the discovery of reverse transcriptase. I also illustrate the distinguishing features of equilibrium viruses (e.g. the common cold) that have adapted to co-exist with their host and non-equilibrium viruses (e.g. HIV) that have recently jumped from another species, are not adapted to the new host, and which can lead to disastrous outcomes (e.g. loss of immune function with potential lethality in the case of HIV).
After serving as President of the California Institute of Technology for nine years, in 2006 David Baltimore was appointed President Emeritus and the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology. Born in New York City, he received his B.A. in Chemistry from Swarthmore College in 1960 and a Ph.D. in 1964 from Rockefeller University, where he returned to serve as President from 1990-91 and faculty member until 1994.
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