Hidden Inside the Cell: HIV and the Threat of Viruses

A Talk by Dr. Natalia Freund, Ph.D.


What are the chances of achieving an AIDS-free world?

The fear surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which emerged in the 1980s, persists until today. Once HIV is transmitted through body fluids, it attacks our immune system and gradually depletes our immunity causing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and if untreated, death. In 2014, according to the World Health Organization, 35 million people worldwide were living with HIV, with 2 million AIDS-related deaths every year. An extensive research of HIV infection and pathogenesis led to the development of drugs that can hold back the disease, but once infected with HIV, a person can never be cured. What are the chances of achieving HIV eradication and an AIDS-free world?

Dr. Natalia Freund is an HIV scientist at the Rockefeller University who has been carrying out cutting edge research on immune response during HIV infection. Her main focus has been antibodies that neutralize the virus and reduce levels of HIV in the body. Before coming to Rockefeller, Dr. Freund conducted her B.Sc. and Ph.D. studies at Tel Aviv University, where she investigated new vaccine strategies for combating HIV and other viruses, and volunteered in the Israeli AIDS task force. With over ten years of HIV research experience, she is passionate about her work and excited about delivering her knowledge to the public. When away from science, Dr. Freund is a devoted mother of three, a book and art fan, and an enthusiastic traveler.    


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