Wood presents fall Nebraska Lecture on HIV/AIDS Nov. 10

Released on 10/29/2009, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009

WHERE: Nebraska Union Auditorium, 1400 R Street

Lincoln, Neb., October 29th, 2009 —
Charles Wood (photo by Alan Jackson/Jackson Studios)
Charles Wood (photo by Alan Jackson/Jackson Studios)

HIV/AIDS is a public health crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa. The disease's widespread prevalence -- two-thirds of people living with the disease reside there -- has greatly affected the region's health and economy.

During the fall Nebraska Lecture Nov. 10, UNL virologist Charles Wood will review the historical aspect of HIV/AIDS since its discovery in 1981, focusing on the disease's impact in Sub-Saharan Africa. Wood, who directs the Nebraska Center for Virology, also will discuss the center's research activities in the region.

The free public lecture, "HIV/AIDS epidemic: What have we learned in the past 28 years?" will be at 3:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Nebraska Union, 1400 R St., with a reception following. The presentation is part of The Nebraska Lectures: Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture Series.

Wood, the Lewis Lehr/3M University Professor, studies the mechanism of viral evolution in search of an HIV vaccine. He leads a research team that studies how HIV is transmitted from infected mothers to children in Zambia. With funding from the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Program, Wood also provides AIDS/HIV training for Zambian and Chinese researchers.

In his lecture, Wood will share recent discoveries that could potentially curb the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

"With the advent of anti-HIV therapy, fewer AIDS cases are being reported -- at least in the U.S.," Wood said. "However, HIV infection will still be a major issue because infected people are living longer. It is important for us to find strategies to help prevent infection."

Wood joined the UNL faculty in 1996 and was instrumental in forming the virology center, an NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence. He became director in 2000. Before joining UNL, Wood was director of the University of Miami's Division of Neurovirology and a researcher at the University of Kansas.

The Nebraska Lectures, which feature distinguished UNL faculty, are designed for general audiences and provide insights about some of the university's leading research, scholarly and creative activity. Wood's lecture is sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, the UNL Research Council and the Office of Research and Economic Development.

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