May 8, 2024  Print

Congratulations to Dr Gabriel Duette, a postdoctoral fellow from WIMR’s Centre for Virus Research, who was recently one of only three people globally to be awarded a Mathilde Krim Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Research.

This highly competitive Fellowship, supported by The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) facilitates the transition of an exceptional postdoctoral researcher to an independent career in HIV/AIDS research.

Dr Duette is studying individuals who have undergone planned antiretroviral treatment interruptions as part of a therapeutic intervention for HIV.  Treatment interruptions are necessary to test the efficacy of an intervention, in part to analyse how and to what extent HIV has been controlled.

This work aims to see if cycles of therapy interruption and re-initiation lead to an increase of CD8+ killer T cells capable of clearing HIV-infected cells from the body and can influence the genetic makeup of rebounding virus.

Dr Gabriel Duette says, “While HIV begins replicating rapidly in most people who stop treatment, a select few can control the virus for months or even years.  With this funding, I will study a cohort of these individuals to better understand why they’re able to control their HIV infection after treatment interruption.

“Since childhood, I dreamed of achieving scientific breakthroughs to benefit society.  By furthering my research into the elimination of HIV infection, the Mathilde Krim Fellowship brings me another step closer to this dream.  I am deeply grateful and look forward to honoring Mathilde Krim’s remarkable legacy of compassion and hope for people living with HIV.”

Established in 2008, the Mathilde Krim Fellowship has supported 62 young scientists with $9.7 million in funding. Through these latest awards, amfAR continues its 40-year dedication to supporting young scientists and investing in bold ideas. Each of the three chosen projects has the potential to fill critical knowledge gaps and bring us closer to a cure for the 39 million people who are living with HIV.

Dr Duette is a member of the HIV Reservoir Research Group at WIMR.  This group conducts molecular and medical virology research on the persistence of HIV during antiretroviral treatment (ART) and viral control when ART is stopped.  By applying innovative techniques and assays, their research provides new insights into disease pathogenesis and treatment for HIV infection.

Professor Sarah Palmer leads WIMR’s HIV Reservoir Research Group and says, “We are delighted that Dr Duette has been recognised with this important and prestigious Fellowship.

“Awards like this are crucial to ensuring the continued momentum of research efforts around the globe, as we work toward finding cures for HIV/AIDS. 

“Dr Duette was only one of three young researchers chosen from hundreds of applicants for the Mathilde Krim Fellowship, which is an acknowledgement of his talent, enthusiasm, drive, and commitment to the field of HIV/AIDS research.  I am incredibly proud of Dr Duette and look forward to seeing where his research efforts will lead.”

More information about WIMR’s HIV/AIDS curative research can be found here.

More information about the Mathilde Krim Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Research can be found here.