Blazing a New Trail for HIV Research
With a $2 million gift, a pioneer propels Dan Barouch, MD, PhD's groundbreaking HIV research
Continually inspired by the promise and power of scientific and technological discovery, Brit d'Arbeloff has always been a trailblazer. As the first woman to receive a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, d'Arbeloff has helped pave the way for the success of future generations of researchers and engineers. Today she is a governance and philanthropic leader for some of Boston's most prominent scientific organizations. When d'Arbeloff met physician-scientist Dan Barouch, MD, PhD, she discovered a kindred spirit — and decided to help propel his research efforts with a $2 million gift. "I have great respect for Dan's work. He has a tremendous track record."
As director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research (CVVR) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Barouch is a global innovator in infectious disease research. With the primary focus of his work centered on the immunology and pathology of HIV infection, the Barouch Lab has developed one of only two vaccines currently being tested in large-scale human efficacy clinical trials. Barouch's vaccine has recently progressed to evaluation for effectiveness in humans in a pivotal global licensure study. "Dan's work in this space is truly pioneering,"; says d'Arbeloff, who, following Stanford, came to the East Coast to pursue graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). "There is so much research happening, but only a small percentage of scientists reach his level of success and influence."
With her generous gift to support the Barouch Lab, d'Arbeloff will enable the continuation of this highly innovative work, with the goal of translating the CVVR's groundbreaking research into treatments for tens of millions of patients worldwide. Barouch and his team have also applied their vaccine and immunology expertise to develop solutions for other threatening infectious diseases, including tuberculosis and Zika virus. In d'Arbeloff's eyes, one benefit of this work is that both Barouch and other researchers will be able to use these findings as the basis for combating other illnesses beyond HIV. "The field of public health is extremely important to me. I admire Dan's efforts to relieve suffering and save lives on a global scale," says d'Arbeloff, who serves on the boards of the MIT Corporation, the Whitehead Institute, and the Museum of Science.
In addition to science and technology — and Barouch's work — d'Arbeloff is passionate about BIDMC's high quality and compassionate care. "I have received very attentive care at BIDMC from my primary care physician," says d'Arbeloff. Now, as Barouch aims to lead the way in stemming the tide of the HIV epidemic and other global infectious diseases, d'Arbeloff's support is essential — and continues her long legacy of supporting the best and brightest scientists.