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Presentation synopsis:

Overview of available methods for the evaluation of viral reservoirs during clinical HIV cure trials.

Clinical trials aiming at an HIV cure have used heterogeneous assays to measure the effect of an intervention. The field is challenged by the fact that PCR-based assays overestimate the viral reservoir whereas culture-based assays underestimate the viral reservoir. Efforts have been done to overcome these shortcomings and new more complex PCR-based assays have recently entered the cure field. In this session, we will explain the key properties of these new assays and the importance for clinicians that have an interest in HIV cure research.

Speaker biography:

Linos Vandekerckhove, University of Ghent, Belgium

Linos Vandekerckhove graduated at the Medical School KULeuven in 1998 and obtained his PhD in 2006 at the Rega Institute (Leuven). He combined his infectious disease specialist education program with a PhD in the laboratory for Molecular Virology of Professor Debyser (Catholic University Leuven, Belgium). In 2010, he felt the need to expand his knowledge on HIV cure research and decided to go to one of the high-level research groups in the US, being the Gladstone Institute under the umbrella of Eric Verdin and Warner Greene.

His unique profile of doing basic research in combination with clinical work makes his laboratory unique to pose the right questions and to feed the lab with relevant clinical questions. Today, his laboratory is a leading team for HIV reservoir research that is recognised nationally and internationally.


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