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Infectious diseases

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Infectious diseases: Immunity

Antibody Evasion Properties of SARS-CoV-2 Variants

Since 1999, the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences has been recognizing excellence through the greatly diversified international, regional, and local Awards. Over the last two decades ,the efforts to honor hundreds of researchers and scientists have paid off well as two Grand Hamdan Award winners were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 2010 and 2020; Sir Robert G Edwards & Dr. Harvey Alter.

To continue its efforts in supporting medical education and research, the Award designed a new series of webinars in cooperation with the 12th term Award’s winners. The series covers topics related to infectious diseases and provides a platform for exchanging knowledge and expertise in the fight against these diseases.

This webinar will feature Prof. David Ho as the keynote speaker, a leading expert in medicine and virology who will discuss the latest updates on SARS-CoV-2 Variants. Prof. Ho is a Professor of Medicine and the Founding Scientific Director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, among many other roles.

The webinar will also host Prof. Tahir Rizvi as the chairperson. Prof. Rizvi is a professor of Molecular Virology at UAEU, Director of the Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Center for Health Sciences, and a Mohammed bin Rashid Academy of Scientists member.

Through this webinar, participants will have the opportunity to learn from the knowledge and expertise of these distinguished researchers and engage in an insightful discussion on the current state of infectious diseases.


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Level II, Al Nashwan Building , Al Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center
The Clyde 56 and Helen Wu Professor of Medicine
Columbia University - Vagelos College of Physician and Surgeons
New York, USA

David D. Ho is the Founding Scientific Director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and the Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. He received his degrees from the California Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School. He is a Member of The National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and a Fellow of The American Association for the Advancement of Science. Prof. Ho has been at the forefront of AIDS research for 40 years. His elegant studies unraveled the dynamic nature of HIV replication in vivo and revolutionized our basic understanding of this horrific disease. This knowledge led him to champion combination antiretroviral therapy that resulted in unprecedented control of HIV in patients.

An automatic death sentence has been transformed into a manageable disease; over 25 million worldwide are currently on such therapy. Dr. Ho’s research team is now devoting a considerable effort to developing novel strategies to diagnose, treat and prevent Covid-19 infection.

He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and fourteen honorary doctorates throughout his career. He was named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1996 and received a U.S. Presidential Medal from Bill Clinton in 2001. He was also inducted into the California Hall of Fame.

Dr. Ho was also recognized by the Kingdom of Thailand with the Prince Mahidol Award in Medicine and given the Distinguished Alumni Award by Caltech. Dr. Ho served as a member of the Trustees of Caltech and was a board member of the MIT Corporation for 12 years and Harvard Board of Overseers for six years. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Director of the Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Center for Health Sciences
Professor of Molecular Virology
United Arab Emirates University
Al Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

He is a professor of Molecular Virology at UAEU, Director of the Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Center for Health Sciences, and a Mohammed bin Rashid Academy of Scientists member.

Over the last three decades, Prof. Rizvi’s research focus has been to elucidate the basic steps in retroviral replication to develop improved retroviral vector systems for human gene therapy. He worked on how retroviruses package their genomic RNAs into virus particles and the underlying differences in RNA packaging among different retroviruses. His research has included many retroviruses, like HIV, SIV, FIV, MMTV, and MPMV. Most recently, with the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic, his lab expedited the study of SARS-CoV-2 replication, the etiological agent of COVID-19, hoping to identify therapeutic agents for this devastating pandemic.

Professor Tahir A. Rizvi obtained his doctorate from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India, in 1987. He did the postdoctoral training at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. Later, he was appointed Assistant Professor at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas, USA, in 1992. He joined the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences (CMHS) at UAE University in Al Ain in 2001.

In addition to serving as a reviewer for several national/international scientific journals, Prof. Rizvi has served as an editorial board member of the leading virology journal, “Retrovirology” and is currently working on the editorial board of “Scientific Reports”.

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