Thaler Center Collaboration with UNIVEN, South Africa Continues in 2012
Hammarkskjold and Rekosh: "Catalysts for Change"
Marie-Louise Hammarskjold, MD, PhD and David Rekosh, PhD, are molecular geneticists. For the last 20 years, the couple has worked steadily and quietly to unravel the genetic mysteries of HIV as co-direcotrs of the Myles Thaler Center for AIDS and Human Retrovirus Research at the University of Virginia. [...] -
More recently, as drug development, treatment and education have helped stabilize the AIDS crisis in the U.S., Hammarskjold and Rekosh have turned some of their attention to the epidemic that is still devastating other parts of the world. More specifically, they've turned their attention to Africa.
Read more about the scientific work and outreach of the two MIC faculty and Co-Directors of the Thaler Center in the SOM Alumni Online Magazine Fall 2012 http://catalog.e-digitaleditions.com/i/84132 pp.22-25
Two Week Intensive Course and Lab Practicum at the University of Venda, South Africa by the Myles H. Thaler AIDS Center and the MIC Department
Lou Hammarskjold, MD, PhD and David Rekosh, PhD received funding for three years from the South African Department of Science and Technology to advance Microbiology and Molecular Biology at the University of Venda (UNIVEN) in northern South Africa.
In spring 2010, five members (Lou Hammarskjold, David Rekosh, AJ Roberts, Lisa Nichols and Emily Sloan) of the Myles H. Thaler Center for AIDS and Human Retrovirus Research and the MIC Department joined faculty and students at the University of Venda (UNIVEN) in Limpopo Province, South Africa, for a two-week intensive course and lab practicum emphasizing the molecular biological roles of RNA.
Professors Hammarskjold and Rekosh lectured each morning to 30 students who are pursuing undergraduate honors degrees or graduate degrees in microbiology, biochemistry or zoology. Small group discussions, facilitated by UVA and UNIVEN team members, followed each morning's lecture and helped clarify critical concepts. For nearly half the students, the afternoons were filled with an intensive lab practicum that emphasized PCR, cloning, transformations and colony selection, sequence analysis and bioinformatics, cell culture and transfections, fluorescent microscopy, and bioluminescent assays.
The course, lab practicum, and other team activities were a critical part of capacity building at UNIVEN for Professors Pascal Bessong and Samie Amidou, UNIVEN researchers, who have ongoing collaborations with UVA faculty in Microbiology and the Center for Global Health. Professors Hammarskjold and Rekosh returned in the spring of 2011 to lecture in a microbiology course that is directed by Professor Amidou .