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HIV/AIDS expert Nabel set for next Discovery Lecture

Nov. 6, 2019, 3:07 PM


by Leigh MacMillan

Gary Nabel, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President of Sanofi, will deliver the next Flexner Discovery Lecture on Thursday, Nov. 14.

Gary Nabel, MD, PhD

Nabel’s lecture, “Tackling AIDS and Cancer with Novel Antibody Therapeutics,” will begin at 4 p.m. in 208 Light Hall. It is sponsored by the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center.

Nabel oversees the Breakthrough Laboratory at Sanofi, which is developing the first trispecific antibodies for HIV, cancer immunotherapies and novel vaccines.

Trispecific antibodies use a single antibody protein to engage three different therapeutic targets to improve antibody therapy.

In the case of HIV, trispecific antibodies recognize three independent proteins in the HIV envelope — the outer coat of the virus that is key to infection. For cancer immunotherapy, the trispecific antibodies are directed at a marker on malignant cells, the T cell receptor complex and a co-stimulatory T cell protein.

Prior to joining Sanofi in 2012, Nabel was director of the National Institutes of Health Vaccine Research Center, where he guided development of vaccine strategies for HIV, universal influenza, Ebola and emerging infectious disease viruses.

Nabel is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and has received the Amgen Scientific Achievement Award and the Health and Human Services Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service.

For a complete schedule of Flexner Discovery Lectures and archived video of previous lectures, go to

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