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MHRP Welcomes Dr. Jintanat Ananworanich as Associate Director for Therapeutics Research

February 4, 2014
Dr. Ananworanich will oversee adult HIV therapeutic trials as part of the newly-funded MHRP Clinical Trials Unit under the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG).

MHRP is pleased to announce that Dr. Jintanat Ananworanich has joined MHRP in a newly created position, as Associate Director for Therapeutics Research and member of MHRP’s leadership team.

Dr. Ananworanich will oversee adult HIV therapeutic trials as part of the newly-funded MHRP Clinical Trials Unit under the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG). She will play a critical role in the expansion of MHRP’s therapeutics research agenda that includes research on priority infectious HIV co-morbidities at MHRP’s clinical research sites, as well as the evaluation of early therapeutic interventions to achieve a functional HIV cure.

“Dr. Ananworanich will be an excellent addition to MHRP’s leadership team,” said Merlin Robb, M.D., MHRP’s director of clinical research. “She brings a wealth of clinical trials expertise and her work in the treatment of acute HIV infection will contribute significantly to MHRP’s research strategy for cure.”

“I have had a long-standing collaboration with MHRP and am excited to formally join the organization and build upon the knowledge we have gained about acute infections,” said Dr. Ananworanich. “I am looking forward to working with the research teams in the U.S., Africa and Thailand.” 

She comes to MHRP from the Thai Red Cross in Bangkok where she served as the Director of SEARCH and Deputy Director of Scientific Affairs at the HIV Netherlands Australia Thailand Research Collaboration (HIV-NAT) at the Thai Red Cross. 

Dr. Ananworanich has been leading the RV254/SEARCH study, which has found that the immediate initiation of therapy was associated with immune restoration and a very small or undetectable reservoir of HIV DNA. Patients treated early in acute infection showed similar characteristics to 'elite' HIV controllers. These patients may be ideal candidates for future cure studies that inform strategies for drug-free HIV remission including therapeutic vaccines. Eventually, treatment interruptions might also be considered to determine whether any of these patients is functionally cured. MHRP is conducting another study on acute infection in Thailand and East Africa, called the Early Capture HIV Cohort Study (ECHO) or RV217.

As part of the joint HIV research effort between MHRP, the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Center and the University of Hawaii, Dr. Ananworanich has collaborated with MHRP since 2005; she will continue to maintain a strong working relationship between the U.S. and Thailand. 

Over the past decade Dr. Ananworanich has led more than 60 studies including the Staccato treatment interruption study that led to a seminal paper in the Lancet and the NIAID-funded study, PREDICT, on when to start antiretroviral therapy in children. She is also actively involved in HIV associated neurological disease (HAND), and has more than 170 publications.