SAN FRANCISCO, March 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- San Francisco AIDS Foundation has appointed Robert Grant, MD, MPH, as chief medical officer, with special focus on advancing the foundation's work to combat HIV/AIDS by creating the first-ever dedicated home for health and wellness for gay and bisexual men in San Francisco. Dr. Grant brings more than 26 years of experience in HIV/AIDS clinical care and research. In 2012, he was named one of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people in the world for his groundbreaking clinical trial that was the first to demonstrate the efficacy of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for the prevention of HIV infection.
"We are pleased to have someone of Bob's caliber joining our senior staff and helping us realize our vision of making San Francisco the first U.S. city to end the transmission of HIV," said Neil Giuliano, foundation CEO. "Bob's expertise is unmatched. Some of the most significant scientific advances in HIV prevention in recent years can be directly attributed to his work. His new role at the foundation will greatly advance our work in the Castro and mid-Market neighborhoods, and help establish a new model for HIV prevention and care to be studied and applied in similar hard-hit communities."
In his new role, Dr. Grant will join the foundation's leadership team, reporting directly to CEO Neil Giuliano. Initially, his work will focus on the foundation's creation of the new home for health and wellness. The facility, to be located in the heart of the Castro neighborhood, will pivot the response to HIV/AIDS and establish an innovative new model—one built around health and wellness, not sickness and disease. It will combine holistic health and wellness programs and community building with a forward-thinking sexual health clinic, behavioral interventions for substance use and mental health, and grassroots prevention outreach to ensure gay and bi men in San Francisco are seamlessly linked to and maintained in care services and support.
"On average, there is more than one person newly diagnosed with HIV every day in San Francisco. Despite our incredible progress against the disease, that statistic has remained steady in recent years," said Dr. Grant. "We have many new and attractive ways to prevent HIV infection, and the tech revolutions give us insights into how social and cultural change occurs. I look forward to joining San Francisco AIDS Foundation and its community, industry, and university partners to end the transmission of HIV and find a cure—starting here, starting with us, starting now. The foundation's leadership in this initiative is exciting."
Dr. Grant is the protocol chair for the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Initiative (iPrEx) clinical trial, a multinational study with 11 research sites in six countries on four continents, which played a central role in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of Truvada for PrEP in 2012. His laboratory is also leading research to understand the biological and social implications of PrEP, such as the immune response due to exposure to the HIV viral antigen, low-level drug resistance, alterations in HIV testing, and disclosure on social networks.
"Dr. Grant will be an exceptional addition to the team at San Francisco AIDS Foundation, where some of our nation's most effective and impactful initiatives to fight HIV have begun," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. "Now more than ever we must employ the most innovative tools and strategies to reduce new infections and ensure access to high-quality care. I am confident that Dr. Grant's enormous talent will help the foundation make an even greater impact in communities most impacted by the disease."
Among his many career achievements, Dr. Grant started the Gladstone/UCSF Laboratory of Clinical Virology in 1997 and the Gladstone Laboratory of Molecular Evolution in 2000. He has served as a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Antiviral Advisory Committee and is an author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications.
Dr. Grant earned a bachelor's degree in biological sciences at Stanford University, an MPH in epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley, and an MD at UCSF, where he took his internship and residency training in medicine and did a fellowship in molecular medicine. He lives in San Francisco with his dog Tooloulou and cockatiel Picachoo.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation
No city experienced epidemic levels of HIV faster than San Francisco. At San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we work to end the epidemic where it first took hold, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is the radical reduction of new infections in San Francisco. Through education, advocacy, and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease. We refuse to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable. For more information, go to www.sfaf.org.
Contact: Ryan McKeel
SOURCE San Francisco AIDS Foundation