Audio Interview

Elite controllers of HIV: from discovery to future therapies

Published on April 14, 2020   28 min

Other Talks in the Series: Research and Clinical Interviews

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Interviewer: Hello Professor Walker, thank you very much for sparing the time today to do this interview, it is much appreciated. Prof. Walker: Happy to be here. Interviewer: Today we'll be talking about your work in the field of HIV and specifically your work with 'elite controllers', people who maintain low levels of the HIV virus without treatment. To start, what is it that drew you to this field? Prof. Walker: My career path actually did not go in the direction that I anticipated it would, I had done some research in college when I was majoring in chemistry. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do, and during the course of that research I came to the slow realization that there were probably two people in the world interested in what I was doing and I was not one of them, it was just a little too esoteric for me. I then had some exposure to the medical field and decided that what I really wanted to do was become a physician and take care of patients. I went to medical school and chose internal medicine as a specialty, I finished medical school and went to Mass General where I expected that the physicians there would know everything about every disease. I was very excited to be there, and as I started my internship, I expected that the physicians there would know everything about every disease. About six months into my internship, I encountered a patient in the emergency room with a disease that I had never seen before and none of the senior doctors had ever seen before either. It was a young gentleman who had multiple infections and cancers all at the same time, he was quite acutely ill on top of some underlying chronic illness that nobody understood and he rapidly died. The senior doctors said that we'd probably never see another case like that,
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Elite controllers of HIV: from discovery to future therapies

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