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Alumna discusses HIV, AIDS research

Sarah Swiderski | Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Saint Mary’s alumna Mary Anne Luzar will share new developments in her research in AIDS and HIV treatments Nov. 14, bringing her extensive work in the global fight against these diseases to the College.
Luzar, a 1972 graduate, is the chief of the Regulatory Affairs Branch of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Health. The lecture, titled “The Door Finally Opens for HIV Prevention: A Review of the Exciting Results of Two International HIV Prevention Clinical Trials and Their Impact on HIV Prevention Research in the 21st Century” will discuss her work in this field.
The lecture will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Room 105 of the Science Hall. The Division of College Relations and the Career Crossings Office are sponsoring the event.
Libby Gray, director of development for the College, said the college is excited to welcome Luzar back to campus.
“As a Saint Mary’s alumna and accomplished scientist, Dr. Luzar brings expertise that will benefit Saint Mary’s students as well as local members of the medical community,” Gray said. “We are delighted to have her present the latest findings on two studies that offer hope in the global fight against HIV and AIDS.”

Despite the event being science based, Gray encouraged students to attend and believes the event will benefit the local community. Gray said she thinks students will be interested in what Luzar has to say.

“Students will be impressed by the details of the research that is being performed across the globe to provide hope for those suffering from HIV/AIDS,” she said.

Gray said Luzar has worked on two clinical trials that seek a way to fight AIDS.

“Dr. Luzar’s lecture [will] highlight the impact of two clinical trials on HIV vaccine development and prevention.,” Gray said. “Dr. Luzar will share the results of the trials and how the global community worked together to perform research that gives hope for prevention of this devastating disease.”

According to a Saint Mary’s College press release, Luzar graduated from Saint Mary’s with a degree in French Literature and Humanistic Studies.

 “Dr. Luzar’s career provides an example of how a liberal arts degree can lead to many different career paths,” Gray said.

The press release also noted the seminar will provide an overview of the results of two clinical trials that made headlines around the world in July during the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C.

“The impact of these trials will be discussed along with the globalization of problem solving and the courage of healthcare specialists to successfully conduct state of the art scientific research in resource poor settings,” the press release stated.

While the public health crisis is still yet to be solved, this seminar will hopefully provide the community with a look into a brighter future.

“Those who attend will have the opportunity to hear a unique ‘insider’s’ perspective on global health and will leave informed and hopeful about the future for HIV prevention research,” Gray said.