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Alum to deliver Global HIV Research Day keynote

By SARA R. SALDI

Published February 28, 2013

Stephen Becker

Stephen Becker

The International Pharmacotherapy Education and Research Initiative (IPERI) will recognize UB Global HIV Research Day with a keynote presentation from UB alumnus Stephen Becker, deputy director of HIV in the Global Health Department of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Becker’s address, “The Bill & Melinda Gates Approach to HIV: A Global and Public Health Perspective,” will take place from 9–10 a.m. March 11 in the Bruce Holm Commons at UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, 701 Ellicott St., Buffalo.

It is free and open to the public.

“Dr. Becker is a leader in the global efforts to defeat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,” said Gene D. Morse, PharmD, professor of pharmacy practice, associate director of the center and director of the Translational Pharmacy Research Core. Morse is co-director of IPERI with Charles Chiedza Maponga, which was established in 2006 by Morse and Maponga, directors of the UB-University of Zimbabwe (UZ) AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP).

“He is, as well, a member of the UB-UZ AITRP Scientific Advisory Board, and in this role he contributes to the review of the AITRP’s HIV research training and capacity-building efforts,” Morse said.

Becker, who received his medical degree from UB’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, has pursued research in HIV pharmacology and pharmacogenomics, and is the author of numerous publications in HIV therapeutics, pharmacology and clinical outcomes research. He has initiated, led or participated in more than 150 clinical trials.

Currently working as a senior program officer at the Gates foundation, Becker’s responsibilities include clinical development activities for pre-exposure prophylaxis, antiretroviral dose optimization approaches, HIV pharmacovigilance and global resistance surveillance.

Before joining the foundation, Becker worked for 25 years as an academic clinician, clinical researcher and in the biotechnology field, where he led development teams for two novel classes of antiretroviral agents. He most recently was chief medical officer at Koronis Pharmaceuticals and previously served as medical director and HIV team leader at AnnorMED.

Becker’s research and clinical practice are a perfect fit for IPERI.

“The mission of IPERI is to provide a mechanism that facilitates collaborations between the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, UB’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and universities and their investigators around the world,” said Morse.

He said that the goals of IPERI are to promote technology transfer in support of evidence-based clinical pharmacology and to share with resource-limited settings (like developing countries) successful medication management strategies that have been established in developing countries.

“Ideally, the program will shine a spotlight on the efforts that UB has led and has contributed to in terms of a global health community seeking to achieve an AIDS-free generation,” said Morse.

For more information, contact Bonnie Lesinski at bpl@buffalo.edu or 716-881-1704.