2017 Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference joint with 2017 Australasian Sexual Health Conference National Convention Centre Canberra 6 – 9 November 2017

HIV&AIDS International Speakers


Prof Georg Behrens
Hannover Medical School, Germany

Prof. Georg MN Behrens is an Internist, HIV-Specialist and Professor for T Cell Immunology in the Department for Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany. Born in 1968, Georg Behrens studied medicine at Hannover Medical School and Justus-Liebig-University Giessen. He graduated in Medicine at Hannover Medical School in 1995. In 1996 he finished his doctoral thesis in the Department of Clinical Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, Giessen. After this, he did his clinical training in Internal Medicine in Hannover. From 2001-2003, he went as a postdoc to the Immunology Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia and returned to Hannover to become a professor for immunology and to build up a research group.

Georg Behrens is an internationally acknowledged expert on HIV-therapy, related metabolic side effects, and co-morbidities. His lab works on antigen presentation by dendritic cells, autoimmunity and autophagy in transgenic mouse models and human cells. He has published numerous papers in journals such as Lancet, J Exp Med, J Clin Invest, Nat Immunol, AIDS, J Immunol and others. His laboratory is supported by the German Research Foundation, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and others. He is principal investigator of national and international studies in HIV medicine and Member of the Steering Committee of the European NEAT-ID Network and member of the TTU-HIV as part of the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF).

He is current president of the German AIDS Society, Panel Chair of the EACS Guidelines “Prevention and management of non-infectious co-morbidities in HIV”, elected Regional Representative of EACS, and a faculty member of the Hannover Biomedical Research School (HBRS).
Dr Genoveffa Franchini
National Cancer Institute

Doctor Genoveffa Franchini, M.D. Senior Investigator, Vaccine Branch, Head, Animal Models and Retroviral Vaccines Section, Center for Cancer Research National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Genoveffa Franchini is a hematologist and renowned retrovirologist who has pioneered research on oncogenes and human retroviruses (HTLVs and HIVs). She has made numerous achievements in virology and translational approaches to prevent human diseases caused by retroviruses. Her work has furthered the understanding of HIV and HTLV-1 pathogenesis, leading to the identification and characterization of new viral genes for HIV and HTLV-1 and their functions. Her accomplishments in HIV vaccine development include the pre-clinical that led to the first vaccine trial in 16,000 volunteers in Thailand, that has demonstrated significant, though limited, protection against HIV acquisition. Her basic work in immunological mechanisms of protection furthered the understanding of the efficacy of the currently available smallpox vaccine in primates. She also has pioneered strategies to down-modulate regulators of immune response in HIV-1-infected individuals, using the macaque model of SIV infection.
Dr Rowena Johnston

Rowena Johnston, PhD, is Vice President and Director of Research at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. Dr. Johnston has been instrumental in forming the amfAR Research Consortium on HIV Eradication (ARCHE) and has designed ARCHE studies including confirming the cure of the Berlin patient, characterizing the Mississippi child, delineating sex differences in LRA responses of the reservoir, discovering predictors of delay to rebound following ATI and initiating a global network of stem-cell transplant clinics aimed at repeating the cure of the Berlin patient. She also designed studies to compare, as well as to develop, new tools to measure the reservoir.
She has conducted independent studies identifying demographic inequalities in cure researcher and trial participant communities.

In 2014, she led the development of amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure for AIDS initiative and serves on the governing board of the amfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research.
Prof Jeffrey Klausner

Dr. Klausner is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Professor of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, University of California Los Angeles. As former Director San Francisco Department of Public Health STD program and Chief CDC-PEPFAR South Africa HIV and TB branch, Dr. Klausner helped identify key factors associated with the increased spread of HIV and STDs and implemented multiple novel public health prevention and treatment programs.

Dr. Klausner has a particular interest in the use of technology-information, digital, and laboratory-to facilitate testing and treatment access for disadvantaged and hard-to-reach populations. Dr. Klausner has been funded by the NIH, CDC, private pharmaceutical and diagnostic test manufacturers to study the benefits of new ways to prevent and control infectious diseases. He is a frequent advisor to the US CDC, NIH and WHO.
Dr Reena Rajasuriar
University of Malaya

Reena Rajasuriar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Pharmacy, University of Malaya and an adjunct Research Fellow at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne University, Australia. She is also a post-doctoral scientist for the Centre of Excellence for Research in HIV/AIDS (CERiA) in University of Malaya.

Reena graduated with her Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) from University Science Malaysia in 2000 and Masters in Clinical Pharmacy in 2003. She was awarded her Ph.D degree in Immunology by Monash University Australia in 2012 and her doctoral research focused on immunogenetics in HIV patients.

Dr. Rajasuriar coordinates the translational research program in HIV immunology at the Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS (CERiA). Her current research focuses on the immunopathogenesis of accelerated aging and modulators of immune activation in HIV.
Mr Ayden Scheim
University of California San Diego

Ayden Scheim is a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Public Health at the University of California San Diego. He holds a PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Western University in London, Canada. His research examines the impacts of social and policy environments on health behaviours and access to care among stigmatized populations, particularly LGBT communities and people who use drugs. For almost 15 years, he has worked to enhance sexual health promotion and HIV prevention for transgender communities in Canada and internationally through epidemiologic and social scientific research, health promotion, program development, and advocacy.
Prof Graham Taylor Imperial College London

Qualified MB ChB from the University of Birmingham Medical School, England.
Trained in General Internal Medicine in the West Midlands and South Wales
Appointment as Chief Medical Officer (Medicine) for the Solomon Islands 1988 – 1991 where he first became interested in the Human T-cell Lymphotropic Viruses and SCUBA diving.

Joined the Section of Virology, Imperial College Faculty of Medicine (formerly St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School) 1992 as a HIV clinical research fellow working on the Delta Trial. Set up the HTLV-1 clinic in 1992 an HIV antenatal service in 1995.
Appointed as Honorary Consultant/Senior Clinical Lecturer in 2000 and promoted to Professor of Human Retrovirology in 2013. Runs the National HTLV clinical service in England, a diagnostic lab and retroviruses translational research group.
Secretary 2001 – 2005, President 2005 – 2009 of International Retrovirology Association.
Co-founder and honorary secretary of the HTLV European Research Network (1993 – present).


HIV&AIDS Local Speakers


Prof Andrew Grulich
The Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney

Professor Andrew Grulich is a medical epidemiologist and Public Health Physician. He is head of the HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program at the Kirby Institute. He is a past president of the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine, a past member of the International AIDS Society Governing Council, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. His research group studies the transmission and prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections in homosexual men, and the links between infection, immune function and cancer in people with HIV
Mr Nic Holas
The Institute of Many (TIM)

Nic Holas is an activist, writer, and co-founder of The Institute of Many (TIM), an advocacy platform and grassroots movement for People Living with HIV. TIM has been identified as a major player in the nation's modern-day HIV response, delivering grassroots activism, digital campaigns, resources, events, and digital community spaces since 2012
Dr Adam Bourne
Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society

Adam is a social and behavioural scientist who specialises in HIV/sexual health formative and evaluative research among key populations. Prior to joining ARCSHS in early 2017, Adam spent a decade working with the Sigma Research group at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. During this time he led a number of national and international qualitative studies that explored HIV risk and prevention behaviours among gay and bisexual men, as well as community surveys and sexual health needs assessments of people living with HIV. He has published widely in the field of drug use among LGBT populations, especially use that occurs in sexual settings (‘chemsex’). He is currently co-investigator of the ‘TRANSFORM’ bio-behavioural study, which examines social and sexual networks of men who have sex with men in Kenya and South Africa.