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Bright Prospect alumnus Lorenzo Ramirez (Ontario HS ‘06, Swarthmore ‘10) is completing a doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania in gene therapy and vaccines.  He recently attended the 20th Annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta, GA., which made the news with the announcement that a baby had been functionally cured of HIV.  At the conference Lorenzo co-presented on two research projects and received a Young Investigator Award. Lorenzo wrote to Bright Prospect and explained that the first project showed that “HIV infected immune systems are dysfunctional even despite treatment with anti-retroviral drugs (ART). In particular, we found that a potential reason why some subjects do not respond to influenza vaccination is due to the reduced percentage of naive (or fresh) cells to help mount an effective immune response. In our second study we showed that a DNA vaccine given to HIV+ individuals on ART was able to enhance cellular immune responses.” Bright Prospect is very proud of the research Lorenzo is doing to move medicine closer to a vaccine to protect people from HIV.  Congratulations on being recognized for all of your work, Lorenzo!

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