Selected writings

HIV Prevention: towards the medicalisation of sex?

2010 will be a year to remember for the field of HIV prevention. After decades of interventions with limited results (with the exception of circumcision and the prevention of mother to child HIV transmission), two clinical studies are raising the hope that the HIV epidemic can be tamed.

In July, the CAPRISA team (based in South Africa) reported that a vaginal gel containing the anti HIV drug tenofovir could reduce the risk of HIV infection by 39%. This was the first proof of concept that a microbicide could potentially reduce the risk of HIV infection whilst offering women an HIV prevention tool that they could control.

In November of the same year, the iPrEx study conducted on a population at high-risk of infection showed that taking the anti HIV Drug Truvada reduced the risk of contracting the virus by an average of 44 percent.

Both studies are hailed as a milestone and landmark in the history of HIV prevention and expectations are high that HIV prevention will finally mean more than the ABC of ‘Abstinence, condom and faithfulness’. But despite the hope, neither approach will immediately translate into marketable products as there are a number of questions that needs answering before microbicide and PrEP are available to the public. (more…)

By Roger, ago
Selected writings

A funding struggle for an HIV prevention in women’s hands

Attendees at the 18th International AIDS conference held in Vienna in July 2010 felt a tremor of hope when Prof. Salim Abdool Karim received a standing ovation following the announcement that a vaginal gel containing the anti-HIV drug tenofovir could reduce the risk of HIV infection by 39%. The groundbreaking results came out of the CAPRISA clinical trial conducted amongst 900 women in rural Vulindela district (KwaZulu-Natal) and urban Durban, South Africa. Euphoria followed in the audience, online and later in the printed media. After 30 years of limited success, the field of HIV prevention could potentially add a new powerful tool to circumcision, condoms, and the prevention of mother to child transmission. Most remarkably, that tool is in women’s hands and the story could unfold with even more good news if it weren't for a small setback: funding the next clinical studies. (more…)

By Roger, ago
Scientific publications

Scientific Publications

Fearnside JF, Dumas ME, Rothwell AR, Wilder SP, Cloarec O, Toye A, Blancher C, Holmes E, Tatoud R, Barton RH, Scott J, Nicholson JK, Gauguier D. Phylometabonomic patterns of adaptation to high fat diet feeding in inbred mice. PLoS ONE 3, e1668 (2008). Toye AA, Dumas ME, Blancher C, Rothwell Read more…

By Roger, ago
Selected writings

Challenges facing the UK Research Base

The academic year 2007 started with a “Time Bomb” uncovered by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI): student in England are having it the easy way with an average of 26 hours a week spent studying compared to 30 in Ireland, 35 in France and 41 in Portugal. Variations are wide depending on the subject but with less than 15 hours of tuition a week, fears and concerns are raised that Higher Education is going down the drain and will have serious academic consequences for the future of Science in the UK. (more…)

By Roger, ago
Work Related

The Reactome

The Reactome project is a collaboration between Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, The European Bioinformatics Institute, and The Gene Ontology Consortium to develop a curated resource of core pathways and reactions in human biology. Project Summary: curation of the IRS/PKB cascade of events (6 months). Role: Supervision and contribution to the Read more…

By Roger, ago