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Uganda’s Elly Katabira is new IAS President
– President-Elect is Prof. Barre-Sinoussi

Dr. Elly Katabira
Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

DR. ELLY Katabira, Professor of Medicine and former Deputy Dean for Research, Faculty of Medicine at Makerere University, Kampala, has been announced as the new President of the  International AIDS Society (IAS), while Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, 2008 Nobel Laureate of Medicine, recognized for her contributions to the discovery of the AIDS virus, is the new President-Elect.

This announcement was made by IAS, the principle organizer of the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010), in Vienna last Wednesday.  Dr. Katabira, who will serve in that position for the next two years, takes over from outgoing President, Dr. Julio Montaner, and becomes the first African representative to hold the position.

The new President-Elect, Professor Barré-Sinoussi, is Director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Unit at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. Prof. Barré-Sinoussi is a 2008 Nobel Laureate of Medicine for her contributions to the discovery of the AIDS virus.

Dr. Katabira trained as a medical doctor at Makerere University and later trained as a physician, specializing in Neurology at the University of Manchester in the UK. Since his return to Uganda in 1985, he has worked extensively in the field of care and support for people living with HIV. He is the Clinical Advisor at the AIDS Clinic in Mulago Hospital and at the Infectious Diseases Institute of Makerere University College of Health Sciences.

Dr. Katabira, who was recognized as a World AIDS Foundation International Scholar in 1990, is the author of more than 200 published scientific articles and abstracts. In June 2000 he  was elected a member of IAS Governing Council in the African Region. Since then, he has actively participated in many IAS activities including Co-Chair of the IAS-Industry Liaison Forum (IAS-ILF) and Co-Editor of the Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS). Dr. Katabira has undertaken several consultancies on HIV and AIDS care and support for UNAIDS and WHO, both for the headquarters in Geneva and for the African Regional Office, as well as for Family Health International. He is also co-founder of The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) and has served as their Medical Advisor since 1987. Dr. Katabira is a founding member of the Academic Alliance of AIDS Care and Prevention in Africa.

Meanwhile, Professor. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi has been involved in retrovirology research since the early 1970s and is recognized for her contributions to HIV and AIDS research, in particular as the first author of the publication that reported in 1983 the discovery of a retrovirus, later named HIV, in a patient at risk for AIDS. Between 1988 and 1998, Prof. Barré-Sinoussi was involved in collaborative programmes on HIV vaccine research. Today, her research unit is working on mechanisms of protection against HIV/SIV infection or AIDS using different models.

Along with her research activities, Prof. Barré-Sinoussi has been strongly involved in promoting integration between HIV/AIDS research and actions in resource-limited countries, in particular through the Institut Pasteur International Network and the coordination of the Agence Nationale de Recherches sur le Sida et les Hépatites Virales (ANRS) research programmes in Cambodia and Vietnam, reflecting her strong commitment to building capacity, training and technology transfers on site in Africa and Asia. Prof. Barré-Sinoussi is author and co-author of 249 original publications and more than 120 articles in book reviews, and has been and remains a member of a number of national and international scientific committees, including the scientific committees of several International AIDS Conferences. She has received more than 10 national or international awards and has also been awarded Doctor Honoris Causa of a number of universities. In February 2009, she was elected a member of the French Academy of Science.

Prof. Barré-Sinoussi will assume the Presidency of the International AIDS Society on the closing day of the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) to be held in Washington D.C, USA, in July 2012. (IAS Media)

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