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Makgoba To Give Hill Lecture, May 15

By Jeff Minerd

Dr. Malegapuru William Makgoba, president of the Medical Research Council of South Africa, will give this year's James C. Hill Memorial Lecture. Makgoba's talk, "The HIV/AIDS Pandemic: An African Dilemma," will be held Tuesday, May 15, at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10.

Makgoba, who also leads the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative, has been developing a strategy for dealing with South Africa's AIDS epidemic. He has often acted as an outspoken critic of AIDS denialists. In a Science editorial in May 2000, titled "HIV/AIDS: The Peril of Pseudoscience," he wrote, "The politically motivated suggestion, in the absence of scientific evidence, that malnutrition and poverty cause AIDS in Africa is not only absurd but may represent a form of national denial. South Africa is rapidly becoming a fertile ground for the types of pseudo-science often embraced by politicians."

Dr. Malegapuru William Makgoba

Makgoba was a visiting associate scientist at NIH from 1986 to 1988. Working with Dr. Stephen Shaw and others at the National Cancer Institute, he was instrumental in demonstrating the importance of adhesion molecules in T cell function. In particular, he showed that T cells adhere to target cells through the binding of lymphocyte function associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) to intercellular-adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and also through binding of CD-2 to LFA-3. "His excitement about the scientific process was contagious for everyone in the laboratory," says Shaw. "Dr. Makgoba is a creative scientist with a social conscience."

The annual lecture series is dedicated to the memory of Dr. James C. Hill, former deputy director of NIAID, who was a motivating force in building the institute's AIDS research program during the early years of the epidemic. His work helped focus national attention on AIDS and on the needs of those infected with HIV. With clear vision, gentle humor and tireless energy, he helped forge and maintain NIAID's relationships with other government agencies, Congress, activists and community and political leaders.

A reception will be held at 4 p.m., immediately after the lecture, in the atrium outside of the Clinical Center's hospitality office. All attendees are invited.

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