amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research


In honor of World AIDS Day, we hosted an informative and stimulating online discussion with amfAR-funded scientists on their progress toward a cure for HIV.

Thursday, December 3, 2020 | 8:00—9:00 p.m. EST
A Virtual Event

Watch now:



Timothy Schacker, M.D.
Vice Dean for Research, Medical School, University of Minnesota

Jerome A. Zack, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor and Department Chair, UCLA


Rowena Johnston, Ph.D.
Vice President and Director of Research, amfAR


Natural Killer Cells: interest in using Natural Killer (NK) Cells as part of a cure for HIV is growing. NK cells are the foot soldiers of the innate immune system, delivering an immediate and potent counterattack against infectious agents such as HIV.

Dr. Schacker recently finished an amfAR project exploring transplantation of NK cells between close relatives as a means of reducing the reservoir in the HIV-positive recipient.

And amfAR recently awarded funding to Dr. Zack, who will compare the ability of normal versus engineered NK cells to eliminate cells harboring reservoir virus from the body. Dr Zack’s work will also feature the insertion of a genetic barcode into viruses so their individual fates can be tracked, and a pharmacologically manipulated drug that will enhance the ability of NK cells to find and destroy HIV-infected cells.

“Our work is about improving lives—the lives of people living with and affected by HIV and all who are vulnerable to infection,” said amfAR Chief Executive Officer Kevin Robert Frost. “As always, we couldn’t do what we do without the generous support of our donors in the U.S. and around the world, and you have our grateful appreciation.”

Joshua Bell
Major Gifts Officer