UCL News


'Adventures in Virology and Cancer', 20-21 September

6 September 2007


nature.com/hubs/london/events/2289" target="_self">'Adventures in Virology and Cancer' symposium

Two Nobel Laureates are among the speakers at an international symposium held by the UCL Division of Infection and Immunity to celebrate the outstanding career of Professor Robin Weiss. 'Adventures in Virology and Cancer' will be held at the Royal College of Physicians on 20 and 21 September. It will include contributions from Nobel Prize winners Professor David Baltimore (California Institute of Technology) and Professor Harold Varmus (President, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center). Professor Baltimore is a biologist who won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1975 for discoveries concerning the interaction between tumour viruses and the genetic material of the cell. Professor Varmus, a virologist, won in 1989 for work looking at the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenesis.

Also speaking is Professor Robert Gallo, (Institute for Human Virology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute), the scientist who proved that HIV causes AIDS.

Robin Weiss is Professor of Viral Oncology at UCL Immunology & Molecular Pathology. After gaining a BSc in Zoology at UCL in 1961, he spent most of his career studying retroviruses, contributing to the discovery of viral genomes inherited as Mendelian traits in host DNA. In the 1970s, he worked with Peter K Vogt in USA and at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, and from 1980-89 he was Director of the Institute of Cancer Research, Royal Marsden Hospital. He returned to UCL in 1999.

Professor Weiss has pioneered aspects of our understanding of HIV and AIDS, particularly on the identification of CD4 as the HIV receptor and on the analysis of neutralizing antibodies. He has also conducted research on AIDS-associated malignancies, and on pig viruses in relation to xenotransplantation. He has been President of the British Association for Cancer Research and he is currently President of the Society for General Microbiology.

In 2007 Professor Weiss was awarded the prestigious Ernst Chain Award by Imperial College, in recognition of his pioneering work on HIV/AIDS. He is currently leading a $25 million international research consortium, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in HIV vaccine discovery.

To find out more about the symposium, and for details of how to attend, follow the link at the top of this article.