Viruses are often regarded as villains in the story of humanity, but what if they didn’t always have to be? What if these microscopic invaders could serve as our allies instead—for instance, helping us treat cancer, protect against infections, and kill drug-resistant bacteria? This isn’t wishful thinking. They already do, and scientists are exploiting them to help us further. Last year’s HIV Dynamics and Replication Program conference provided a peek behind that curtain.
The 2023 David Derse Memorial Lecture and Award coincided with Día de los Muertos, scientist emeritus Stephen Hughes, Ph.D., noted at the event. It was fitting happenstance. The Day of the Dead, as it’s called in English, is observed primarily in Mexico to celebrate the memory and legacy of deceased loved ones. In a similar spirit, the memorial lecture in Frederick united scientists to honor the legacy of the late David Derse, Ph.D.