BEAT-HIV Cure Research Update

Event Details

Event Date

Event Date: Thursday, June 15, 2023

Event Time

Event Time: 11:00 AM - to 12:30 PM

Event Description

Philadelphia is a hub of HIV cure-directed research. More than 100 individuals have volunteered their time and bodies in BEAT-HIV cure-directed studies and clinical trials with research collaborators at Philadelphia FIGHT, Wistar Institute, and University of Pennsylvania. The BEAT-HIV Community Advisory Board (CAB) plays an integral part of our work to ensure that cure-directed research incorporates the needs and experiences of those who will most benefit. A CAB Executive Committee member will share his experience and how his advocacy led to serving on a national panel to develop a new HIV Cure clinical trial.

We will discuss current advances in our understanding of why HIV persists after taking ART (medications that control HIV) and emerging ideas as to how to use this information in developing HIV cure-directed studies. We will review activity on Philadelphia-based cure-directed studies in the BEAT-HIV program as well as the AIDS Clinical Trials Unit. 

Without a vaccine or cure, HIV persists in the body. Many more people are at risk for acquiring HIV and all that comes with it: lifetime medications, potentially poorer health, unfair HIV laws, and stigma. Even with single-pill regimens and long-acting ART, people face health consequences from taking ART over long periods of time. Globally, access to HIV drug therapy is limited. NIH prioritizes HIV cure research and funds two Martin Delaney Collaboratories in Philadelphia: BEAT-HIV and CRSPR for Cure.


  • Understand why the search for a cure is important even with effective treatment
  • Understand HIV cure research conducted at Philadelphia FIGHT, The Wistar Institute, and the University of Pennsylvania
  • Understand the importance of community representation as cure strategies are developed from concept to clinical trial


Dr. Luis J. Montaner, DVM, MSc, DPhi

The Wistar Institute 

Dr. Luis J. Montaner has been engaged in HIV-1 immunopathogenesis research in partnership with Philadelphia FIGHT for over 25 years. To advance the field of HIV cure-directed science, he leads research studies and clinical trials that focus on innate effectors, immune regulation of infection, activation measurements on ART, and translational human immunology-based studies. Dr. Montaner is an expert in directing multi-institutional and multi-investigator clinical studies with a basic research component and has served as the principal investigator in the completion of team-led clinical trials, including multiple trials across several institutions in Mexico, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, and the US. Dr. Montaner is Principal Investigator of the BEAT-HIV Delaney Collaboratory to Cure HIV-1 (along with co-PIs based at UPenn and Johns Hopkins University). He is Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, he obtained his DVM from Kansas State University and DPhil from University of Oxford. 

Luis J. Montaner, DVM, MSc, DPhil
Dr. Pablo Tebas, MD

Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Dr. Tebas is a researcher focusing on complications of HIV, treatment, and strategies for curing HIV infection. He is Director and Principal Investigator (PI) at the AIDS Clinical Trial Unit (ACTU) of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a founding member of the HIV Reservoirs and Viral Eradication Transformative Science Group (TSG) within the AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG). Dr. Tebas takes the lead as Principal Investigator in early phase trials of new compounds, including Phase I studies of broadly neutralizing antibodies in cure related strategies. He works alongside Dr. Carl June and Dr. Jim Riley on various gene therapy studies that explore the therapeutic use of lentiviral vectors in managing HIV infection. Dr. Tebas has a clinical focus on treating people with HIV and related conditions, such as hepatitis C. He is an attending physician in the infectious disease service at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP).

Rease N. Maddox, MBA 

BEAT-HIV Community Advisory Board Secretary and Community Scientific Subcommittee Representative, ACTG Protocol A5419

Rease N. Maddox is a Sr. Paralegal, at Stanley Sinowitz & Associates for the last 12 years specializing in Estate Planning, Contract Law, and Worker’s Compensation. He is a member of National Federation of Paralegal Associates (NFPA) and Philadelphia Association of Paralegals. Since the pandemic outbreak, Rease has reached out to faith organizations and minority communities to offer estate planning including Last Will and Testaments; Durable Power of Attorney; Advanced Health Directives and Living Wills at affordable prices to help mitigate the often unaffordable and financially taxing end of life expenses. Rease is the Music Director at the East Bethel Baptist Church, Philadelphia PA. He believes in the universal law of Cause & Effect; his Christian faith gives him the tools to navigate through life. His Granma always told him, “People don’t have to be nice, and when they are nice, they don’t have to be nice to you,” so he is always grateful when people show him kindness. 

Kenneth M. Lynn, MBA, BS, RN 

Managing Director of Clinical Studies, HIV-1 Immunopathogenesis Laboratory, The Wistar Institute and Infectious Disease Liaison, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center

Ken Lynn is a lifelong resident of the Philadelphia area and works as a registered nurse within the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine specializing in effective clinical trial management and community recruitment for HIV research studies. Ken was recognized as a Jonathan Lax Scholar in 1999, and this scholarship furthered his education which ultimately led him to advocating for people living with HIV/AIDS over the past 20 years. In addition to his responsibilities at the University of Pennsylvania, Ken serves as the community research liaison for The Wistar Institute and Philadelphia FIGHT to promote HIV/AIDS community education and increased patient participation in important Philadelphia-based HIV curative research trials for the BEAT-HIV Delaney Collaboratory. Ken welcomes emails if you would like to learn about how you can participate BEAT-HIV research: 


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