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Johns Hopkins Physician On 'Nature' List Of 10 People Who Mattered

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Dr. Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, was recognized for her research into curing infants born with HIV.
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Dr. Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, was recognized for her research into curing infants born with HIV.

Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins Children's Center was named one of this year's "10 People Who Mattered" by science journal Nature. 

Persaud, a virologist, is being recognized for her work on what the Nature editors say is "the strongest evidence yet that infants born with HIV can be cured." 

Persaud and colleagues from the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts Medical School presented a case in March about a girl born in Mississippi with HIV.  The girl was treated with higher-than-usual doses of powerful HIV drugs soon after birth. Blood tests later showed no virus even after months without treatment.

Speaking with NPR earlier this year, Persaud called the case a "game-changer."

"This case was sort of the inspiration and provides the rationale to really move forward," she said. 

Scientists are researching whether the approach could work in other HIV-infected newborns. 

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