Co-Morbidities and Adverse Drug Reactions in HIV
2021 Plenary speakers

Learn more about the 2021 plenary presenters and read their biographies below.

Breaking the glyco-code of HIV immunopathogenesis
Mohamed Abdel-Mohsen, University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, USA

Impact of stress on integrative health and disease
Gretchen Neigh, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA

Children and adolescents: focus on HIV-associated co-morbidities – what will the future hold?
Liesl Zühlke, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Zimbabwe

Roundtable: post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection
Chairs: Judith Currier, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA & Steven Deeks, University of California at San Francisco, CA, USA.
Speakers: Keri Althoff, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA; Amitava BanerjeeUniversity College London, London, UK; Steven Deeks, University of California at San Francisco, CA, USA.
Additional Panellists: Avindra Nath, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA, Robin Gorna, NHS Long COVID Taskforce, UK


Speaker biographies

Mohamed Abdel-Mohsen
University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, USA

Professor Mohamed Abdel-Mohsen is an Assistant Professor at The Wistar Institute, Wistar Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and co-director of the Penn Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) Virus and Reservoirs Core. He has published 60 peer-reviewed papers on the molecular pathogenesis of HIV infection. These papers reflect broad interests in the field of HIV, ranging from the iPrEx study to his work in the Delaney AIDS Research Enterprise to Cure HIV and Sustainable East Africa Research of Community Health Global studies, to his work describing novel immune mechanisms controlling HIV pathogenesis and persistence. In 2017, he joined Wistar Institute after completing his Ph.D. and postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco. His laboratory investigates the role of the host glycosylation machinery in modulating HIV persistence and immunopathogenesis. They aim to discover novel glycan-based interactions that can be targeted to cure HIV and/or improve tolerance of lifelong infection.

Back to top


Keri Althoff,
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

Dr. Keri N Althoff, PhD, MPH, is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Althoff’s content areas of expertise are the physical and mental comorbidities and multimorbidity in adults aging with HIV, as well as indicators benchmarking progress toward the goals of the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative in the United States. She is one of two Principal Investigators for the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design (NA-ACCORD) of the International Epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) project. Dr. Althoff also investigates COVID-19, including seroprevalence of antibodies, disparities in testing, positivity, and clinical outcomes, and the post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Her methodologic expertise is in designing studies nested in large-scale collaborations of longitudinal cohort studies. Dr. Althoff is serving as the Johns Hopkins University Provost’s Fellow for Research Communication and has been frequently featured in news media translating COVID-19 science and guidelines into everyday life.

Back to top

Amitava Banerjee
University College London, London, UK

Amitava Banerjee is Professor of Clinical Data Science at University College London, and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at University College London Hospitals and Barts Health NHS Trusts. He is a researcher, educator and clinician with interests spanning data science, cardiovascular disease, global health, training and evidence-based healthcare.

After qualifying from Oxford, he trained as a junior doctor in Oxford, Newcastle, Hull and London. His interest in preventive cardiology and evidence-based medicine led to a Masters in Public Health at Harvard(2004/05), an internship at the World Health Organisation(2005) and DPhil in epidemiology from Oxford(2010). He was Clinical Lecturer in Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Birmingham, before moving to UCL in 2015. He has been active clinically and academically throughout the pandemic, and is leading the STIMULATE-ICP study, funded by the NIHR. This ambitious 2-year programme will evaluate current care and conduct the largest clinical trial to-date in individuals with long COVID.

Back to top

Judith Currier
Univeristy of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Judith S. Currier, MD, MSc  is Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Center for AIDS Research and Education Center and the Sue and Michael Steinberg Endowed Chair in Global AIDS Research in the Department of Medicine at UCLA. She is Chair of the NIH sponsored AIDS Clinical Trials Group and the Principal Investigator of the Leadership Operations Center (LOC) for the ACTG based at UCLA. She also serves as the Principal Investigator of the UCLA AIDS Prevention and Treatment Clinical Trials Unit based at UCLA. In March of 2020 she was appointed as a Member of the Therapeutics Working Group for the NIH Accelerating COVID -19 Therapeutics and Vaccines(ACTIV) Initiative. Her areas of research focus include understanding the pathogenesis and management of long term complications of HIV disease, specifically cardiovascular and metabolic complications associated with HIV treatment and on evaluating therapeutics for early COVID disease.

Back to top


Steven Deeks
University of California at San Francisco, CA, USA

Steven G. Deeks, MD, is a Professor of Medicine in Residence at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and a faculty member in the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Dr. Deeks has been engaged in HIV research and clinical care since 1993. He is a recognized expert on HIV-associated immune dysfunction and its impact on HIV persistence (the “reservoir”) and health during antiretroviral therapy.

Dr. Deeks published over 600 peer-review articles, editorials and invited reviews on HIV and related topics. He has been the recipient of several NIH grants, and is one of the principal investigators of DARE (the Delaney AIDS Research Enterprise), an NIH-funded international collaboratory aimed at developing a cure for HIV infection. He is also the principal investigator of amfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research and the co-chair of the “Towards an HIV Cure” International Working Group. Dr. Deeks was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and Association of American Physicians (AAP). He is the editor-in-chief of Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS and serves on the scientific advisory board for Science Translational Medicine and the advisory board for EBioMedicine.

In April, 2020, he leveraged his HIV research program to construct the “Long-term Impact of Infection with Novel Coronavirus (LIINC)” cohort, which is now supporting dozens of studies addressing the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on health.

Dr Deeks is a former member of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council (ORAC) and of the Department on Health and Human Services Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents.

In addition to his clinical and translational investigation, Dr. Deeks maintains a primary care clinic for HIV infected patients.

Back to top

Robin Gorna
NHS Long COVID Taskforce, UK

Robin Gorna is Vice Chair of the Technical Review Panel for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and sits on the UK NHS Long COVID Taskforce, and its Research and Information & Education sub-groups, as a “Patient and Public Voice” representative. She became involved in early responses to AIDS as a volunteer at the Terrence Higgins Trust (the national AIDS charity) in London at the height of the epidemic in 1986 and published Vamps, Virgins and Victims: How can women fight AIDS? – one of the first books to describe the impact of AIDS on women. and she continues to publish widely including writing about the connections between COVID and AIDS: see www.robingorna.com
She has served as Executive Director of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), the International AIDS Society (IAS) and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), as well as co-founding and leading the global SheDecides movement, established in early 2017. In 2003 she set up the first multi-sectoral team on global AIDS policy at the (former) Department for International Development and later moved to Pretoria to lead UK’s health and AIDS work in Southern Africa.

Back to top

Avindra Nath
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

Dr. Avindra Nath is a physician–scientist who specializes in neuro-immunology and neurovirology. His research is focused on the clinical manifestations, pathophysiology and treatment of emerging neurological infections with a focus on HIV infection. In recent years, he has studied the neurological complications of endogenous retroviruses, Ebola, Zika virus and SARS-CoV-2 and conducts research on patients with undiagnosed neuroinflammatory disorders. He has served on advisory committees to the NIH, CDC, FDA and WHO. The International Society of NeuroVirology gave him the Pioneer in NeuroVirology Award for his contributions to HIV neuropathogenesis and elected him as the President of the Society. He received the Wybran award from the Society of Neuroimmune Pharmacology for contributions to Neurovirology. He also received the NIH Director’s award for his work on SARS-CoV-2 and the HHS Secretary’s award for his work on Ebola infection.
Dr. Nath is the Clinical Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at NIH, where he is also Chief of the Section of Infections of the Nervous System, Director of the Translational Center for Neurological Sciences.
Dr. Nath received his medical degree from Christian Medical College in Ludhiana, India, and completed a residency in neurology from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, followed by a fellowship in multiple sclerosis and neurovirology at the same institution. He then completed a fellowship in neuro-AIDS at NINDS. Having held faculty positions at the University of Manitoba and the University of Kentucky, he joined Johns Hopkins University in 2002 as Professor of Neurology and Director of the Division of Neuroimmunology and Neurological Infections. He joined NIH in 2011.

Back to top

Gretchen Neigh
Virginia Commonwealth University, USA

Dr. Gretchen Neigh is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. Dr. Neigh’s research focuses on understanding the biological mechanisms that dictate risk and resilience to stress exposure with the goal of determining how to prevent and treat mental and physical disease. In addition to research, she is actively engaged in supporting the development of the next generation of scientists from diverse backgrounds and is the Associate Director of the VCU MD/PhD Training Program and the Co-Director of the VCU Clinical and Translational PhD Training Program. Dr. Neigh has received funding from the National Institutes of Health and foundations. More information about her work can be found at: http://gretchenneigh.com

Back to top


Liesl Zühlke,
Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Zimbabwe

Professor Zühlke is a paediatric cardiologist in the Dept. of Paediatric Cardiology at Red Cross Children’s Hospital and directs the Children’s Heart Disease Research Unit focused on family-centred research into Children’s Heart Diseases of relevance in Africa. Her research projects span congenital and Rheumatic Heart disease, HIV in adolescents, Grown-up Congenital heart disease and cardiac disease in women of childbearing age. She was the recipient of the 2018 MRC/Dfid African research leader Award.  She is the only female full Professor of Paediatric Cardiology in her country and is passionate about mentoring women and minority groups in Cardiology practice and leadership. She has delivered several talks in this regard and is part of the Lancet commission for Cardiovascular disease in Women. A speaker at all the premier international cardiology  congresses, she recently delivered a lecture to the Academy of Medical Sciences in London on “Developing capacity for clinical research in low and middle-income countries”, another personal passion and was a designed rising star at the Gates Grand Challenges meeting held in Ethiopia in October 2019. She leads the PROTEA study” Partnerships for Congenital Heart Disease in Africa” focusing on describing the epidemiology and genetic origins of Congenital Heart Disease in several countries in Africa.

Back to top