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Director’s Innovation Speaker Series: HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 Effects on Brain and Mind Health: A Tale of Two Viruses


November 9, 2022




During this virtual fireside chat, Serena Spudich, M.D., M.A. , and NIMH Director Joshua A. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., discussed the impact of HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 viruses on the nervous system. They also explored lessons learned from studying the effects of HIV on the central nervous system, similarities and differences in the pathology and clinical effects, and how this knowledge could inform research and interventions for SARS-CoV-2.


Read the transcript.

About Dr. Spudich

Portrait of Serena Spudich, M.D., M.A.

Dr. Spudich is one of only a few neurologists in the United States with specialized training in nervous system infections and a clinical practice focusing on neurological issues in patients with HIV. At Yale University, Dr. Spudich is the Gilbert H. Glaser Professor of Neurology, chief of the Division of Neurological Infections and Global Neurology, and director of the Center for Brain and Mind Health. She also is a neurology physician who cares for patients with viral infections and neurological disorders in clinics.

Dr. Spudich’s clinical and translational research explores the effects of HIV and SARS-CoV-2 infection in the nervous system, focusing on the effects of acute infection, antiviral and immune treatments, and cure strategies on viral pathogenesis and persistence in the central nervous system. She collaborates with colleagues across multiple disciplines on studies in the United States and international settings, exploring questions of inflammation, injury, and viral reservoirs within the central nervous system.

Dr. Spudich has been active in the NIH-funded International AIDS Clinical Trials Group, co-leads the International NeuroHIV Cure Consortium for studies based in Bangkok, Thailand, and serves on the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Antiretroviral Treatment Guidelines Committee, CROI Program Committee, and as the Steering Committee Co-Chair for the NIH Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) study on long COVID.

About the Director’s Innovation Speaker Series

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) established the Director’s Innovation Speaker Series to encourage broad, interdisciplinary thinking in developing scientific initiatives and programs and to press for theoretical leaps in science over the continuation of incremental thought. Innovation speakers are encouraged to describe their work from the perspective of breaking through existing boundaries and developing successful new ideas, as well as working outside their primary area of expertise in ways that have pushed their fields forward. We encourage discussions of the meaning of innovation, creativity, breakthroughs, and paradigm-shifting.

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