Meet the Chairs

Jose Alcamí, M.D. Ph.D.
Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain

Jose Alcamí is research professor and head of the AIDS Immunopathogenesis Unit at the National Centre of Microbiology. He also coordinates the Spanish AIDS Research Network (RIS), consisting of 30 Spanish hospitals and research units, and is the director of the master in infectious diseases chaired by University of Alcalá de Henares and Instituto Carlos III. A specialist in internal medicine, Alcamí was associate research at Pasteur Institute for four years, where he studied the molecular mechanisms of HIV reactivation. He is an expert in HIV pathogenesis, in particular in the mechanisms involved in HIV latency and viral entry. His laboratory has developed new strategies to target HIV reservoirs and a platform to screen and characterize new antiretroviral drugs and neutralizing antibodies. Alcamí has participated in the European Networks of HIV vaccines (EUROPRISE, EAVI2020) and microbicides (CHAARM) leading the AIM-HIV consortium for microbicide development, and has published widely in the field of HIV pathogenesis, drug discovery and vaccine and microbicides development.

He is associate editor of the Journal of Virology and consultant to a number of other journals.  He is also an advisor to the European Commission, the INSERM, the ANRS and Spanish scientific institutions. Dr. Alcamí received his M.D. from Autonoma University in Madrid and his Ph.D. from the University of Madrid, in virology.

Susan Buchbinder, M.D. 
San Francisco Department of Public Health, USA

Susan Buchbinder is the director of Bridge HIV at the San Francisco Department of Public Health and clinical professor of medicine, epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Buchbinder’s research focuses on risk factors for HIV acquisition and interventions to prevent HIV infection, including HIV vaccines, microbicides, pre-exposure prophylaxis, behavioral interventions and combination modalities. Dr. Buchbinder serves in leadership positions in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) and HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), and has participated in numerous NIH and UCSF advisory committees. She is one of the founding members of the “Getting to Zero” consortium in San Francisco, which includes a citywide PrEP program, RAPID (same-day) initiation of ART, retention programs for people living with HIV and strategies to address HIV stigma.

Dr. Buchbinder is an attending physician at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, both at the HIV clinic and in the General Medical Clinic. She also mentors students, residents and fellows in UCSF’s Advanced Training in Clinical Research Program and through the mentorship program at UCSF’s Center for AIDS Research. Dr. Buchbinder is a graduate of Brown University, UCSF Medical School and the Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency at San Francisco General Hospital. 

Mike Chirenje, M.D. 
University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

Mike Chirenje is a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the College of Health Science at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare. In 1994, Dr. Chirenje was one of the founding members of the University of Zimbabwe – University of California, San Francisco (UZ-UCSF) Collaborative Research Programme in Women’s Health, and has served as its executive director since 2002.  His main research interests are HIV prevention clinical trials in women, with particular emphasis on microbicides and pre-exposure prophylaxis and cervical cancer screening and treatment of pre-cancer lesions in low resource settings. Dr. Chirenje is principal investigator for a large US National Institutes of Health-funded HIV clinical trials unit (UZ-UCSF) conducting clinical trials for four networks (ACTG, IMPAACT, MTN, HPTN). He served as protocol co-chair for the MTN 003-VOICE HIV prevention trial and for the HIV vaccine study, HVTN 120. He also co-supervised the Harare research team that assessed possible biological/immunological mechanisms for an association between use of progestin containing hormonal contraception and HIV acquisition (ZIMCHIC). Dr. Chirenje’s current interest is development of long acting ARV based intramuscular delivery systems.

He received his M.D. from the University of Liberia, Monrovia and completed postdoctoral work at the London Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists and Sheffield University in the U.K.

Georgia Tomaras, Ph.D. 
Duke University, USA

Georgia Tomaras is a tenured professor of surgery, immunology and molecular genetics and microbiology. She is director of research and director of the training program for the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI), and associate director for the HIV Vaccine Trial Network Laboratory Center. Dr. Tomaras has over 160 peer-reviewed publications on immune correlates and interrogation of humoral and cellular immunity to HIV. She is the principal investigator of a multi-institution program project grant to decipher immune correlates of protection. Dr. Tomaras is the current chair of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) AIDS Vaccine Research Subcommittee (AVRS) (2016–2019) and served as an NIAID Advisory Council member (2011–2015). She is an editorial board member for the Journal of Virology, consulting editor for the Journal of Clinical Investigation and guest editor for PLOS Pathogens.

She has organized meetings, including the 2013 HIV-1 Vaccine Keystone Symposia meeting. Her awards include the NIH HIV Vaccine Trials Network Mentoring Award, Norman Letvin Faculty Award and the Ruth and A. Morris Williams Faculty Research Prize. Dr. Tomaras received her B.S. in biology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University.

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