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PhD candidate recognized with international Young Investigator Award

Congratulations to Matthew Woods, PhD candidate, on receiving the prestigious IAS/ANRS Young Investigator Award at this year’s International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

The $2,000 award is jointly funded by the International Aids Society (IAS) and the Agence Nationale de Recherche sur le sida et les hépatites virales (ANRS) to support young researchers who demonstrate innovation, originality, rationale and quality in the field of HIV research.

Woods, a PhD student in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, was recognized by a panel of senior scientists from around the world for his research involving a protein called HERC5, which is a newly discovered human protein that exhibits potent antiviral properties, particularly against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Through his research, Woods has shown for the first time that HERC5 blocks HIV replication and has characterized the molecular mechanisms underlying HERC5’s antiviral activity.

“Matthew’s positive attitude in the lab, passion for research, ability to take initiatives, and his quick learning of new techniques and ideas are all excellent qualities of a good researcher,” said Stephen Barr, PhD, an HIV researcher and professor in the department of Microbiology and Immunology. “It does not surprise me at all that Matthew won the IAS/ANRS Young Investigator Award and I am delighted to see his efforts rewarded in this way. I see nothing but great achievements in Matthew's future and I cannot wait to read about them.”

Woods was presented with the award on July 24, 2014 by Nobel Prize winner Françoise Barré-Sinoussi who is credited with the co-discovery of the HIV virus.