HIV vaccine conference to be hosted by Boston

The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise has announced that Boston will be the host of the world’s largest conference devoted entirely to research for a vaccine for HIV in 2012.

The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise is an alliance of funders, researchers, industry, policy makers and advocates dedicated to speeding up the development of a preventative HIV vaccine.

The event, which will be attended by more than a thousand community activists, clinicians and scientists, will be hosted by the Harvard Center for AIDS Research and the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, reports.

While Boston has never hosted the event before, the hosting campaign committee has extensive experience in the HIV field. Co-chair Dan Barouch was the conference chair for the 2008 Keystone Symposium on HIV Vaccines held in Banff, Canada. Bruce Walker, co-chair and head of the Harvard CFAR, organized the First Annual TV/HIV Meeting and the First Annual HIV Acute Infection Meeting, according to Boston’s application on the HIV Vaccine Enterprise website.

Boston has chosen to focus the conference on advances in current programs, along with new ideas, investigators and technologies. The city hopes to be able to tap into previous relationships established when the city hosted CROI, another large HIV conference.

The local co-chairs will be Dr. Dan Barouch of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dr. Bruce Walker of the Ragon Institute, Dr. Galit Alter of Mass. General, and Dr. Lindsey Baden of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.