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Top Researcher to Present Lecture on Vaccines for HIV

posted on March 2, 2006

At an early age, children get vaccinated to protect against a variety of diseases. Measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria are all commonly vaccinated for…will HIV soon join the list?

David I. Watkins, Ph.D., a researcher and professor of pathology at the College of Wisconsin – Madison, will present this year’s Clarke College Mary Murphy, BVM Endowed Lecture in Biology entitled “Vaccines for HIV.” The lecture will be held on Tuesday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Jansen Music Hall on the Clarke campus. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

Each day, 14,000 people become infected with HIV/AIDS, and 7,000 people die of the disease worldwide. The rapid spread and lethal nature of this epidemic have driven the development of an effective vaccine to the forefront of the world’s top public-health priorities. Historically successful approaches to vaccine development have proven unsuccessful for HIV. Watkins’ team is conducting research on a species of monkey with the SIV virus, similar in structure to HIV, to assist in the development of a human vaccine for HIV.

In addition to serving as a professor of pathology at the College of Wisconsin, Watkins is director of the HLA/Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at the College of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and is chair of the immunogenetics research group for the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center. He is the author or co-author of over 180 published articles and continues to lead the way in HIV vaccine research.

Watkins holds a bachelor’s degree in botany and zoology from the College of Durham, England; and a Ph.D. in immunology from the College of Rochester, New York.

The Mary Murphy, BVM Endowed Lecture in Biology was established in memory of Dr. Mary Murphy, BVM, who died on January 25, 1999, of ovarian cancer. Murphy was a highly respected member of the Clarke College faculty, chairperson of the Department of Biology (1992-1998), and former Board of Trustees member.

For more information, contact the Clarke College Public Relations Office at (563)588-6318.

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