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Symposium spotlights new paradigms in genomics, celebrates AIDS-fighting drug at 25 years
Date:5/3/2010

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] In 1985 there was little hope for people with AIDS. Newspapers and television screens were filled with ghastly pictures of emaciated figures dying from a disease that had no cure.

Then a team of scientists at the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute announced it had come up with the first drug to combat AIDS, and related drugs discovered by this group followed. A quarter-century later in the "Age of the Genome," there still is no cure for AIDS, but it is now highly treatable and it has become a chronic, manageable condition. That first drug, AZT, now a generic, remains in one of many combinations in use that form the backbone for a regimen that has been effective at allowing people with the disease to lead fruitful, normal lives.

Samuel Broder was the director of the Clinical Oncology Program of the National Cancer Institute when AZT was successfully tested. He later became NCI director, appointed by President Reagan. Now the chief medical officer at the biotechnology company Celera, Broder will speak about the AIDS pandemic and how AZT and related drugs changed public attitudes toward the disease.

Broder's presentation comes as 17 leading thinkers from academia, business and government including two Nobel laureates will convene at Brown University for the Computational Molecular Biology Symposium, which runs from May 3 to 7. During those five days, participants will discuss advances in genomics, a field of research revolving around the wealth of data contained in the genomes of microbes, plants and animals. With the goal of better understanding human development and evolution, disease and behavior, computational biology is booming, evidenced by a burst of new research programs and new start-up companies.

The group also will hold wide-ranging talks on the the legacy of the famous physicist and computer pioneer John von Neumann, and six guests of the University will
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Contact: Richard Lewis
Richard_Lewis@brown.edu
401-863-3766
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

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