Friedrich wins international AIDS research honor

Oct. 1, 2004

Thomas Friedrich, an assistant scientist in David Watkins' HIV vaccine development lab and head of Virology Services at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center on campus, received a prestigious Young Investigator Award from the International AIDS Society July 16 in Bangkok. To date, two investigators from the Watkins Lab have earned this award, a rare and remarkable achievement for any lab. David O'Connor, associate scientist, received the honor in 2002.

The award was part of the XV International AIDS Conference, organized by the International AIDS Society (IAS). O'Connor won the award at the previous meeting in Barcelona. The award goes to the highest-scoring abstracts in each of five categories; Friedrich and O'Connor won in the Basic Sciences category.

The biennial IAS meeting gathers together nearly 20,000 scientists, doctors, educators, activists, and community and governmental leaders for frank discussions about the state of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. More than 38 million people globally are living with HIV. Almost 5 million more people were infected in 2003, the most new infections since the virus’s discovery. Of these new infections, more than 50 percent occurred in women and people younger than 30.