In the first “Zoom-Only” Urology Grand Rounds meeting, the department hosted the esteemed Paul Volberding, MD, Professor and Chair, Epidemiology & Biostatistics. His discussion centered on lessons learned during his pioneering work in treating people with HIV and how it corresponds to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Volberding discussed the early response in San Francisco to the AIDS epidemic, especially the role played by the University of Cailifornia, San Francisco and the San Francisco General Hospital. Given current coronavirus pandemic, he addressed similarities between the HIV epidemic the COVID-19 pandemic, including important differences in the array of scientific tools that now exist. He also reflected on the societal response, comparing the slow recognition of AIDS at the presidential level and the halting response to coronavirus testing at the federal level. And, he addressed the role of the CDC in each case. His personal and professional reflections on these important issues were timely, fascinating, and profound.
Dr. Volberding was trained in Medical Oncology but became heavily involved in the early AIDS epidemic in San Francisco based at Zuckerberg SF General Hospital in the early ‘80s. His work included clinical trials in HIV-related malignancies and primarily in the development of antiretroviral therapy. He was the PI and co-director with Warner Greene of the NIAID-funded UCSF-Gladstone Center for AIDS Research supporting the large community of HIV investigators in San Francisco.In 2012, he became the Director of the UCSF AIDS Research Institute (ARI). The ARI is the comprehensive University organization that links all HIV/AIDS research programs and is the central focus for communications, media relations and philanthropic support for this internationally recognized response to the HIV epidemic. Additional current positions are the Clinical Editor in Chief of the Journal of the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndromes and an active member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) of the National Academy of Sciences and am the founder and Board Chair of the International Antiviral Society-USA.
Given his stature and the timeliness of his message, the department sent the Grand Rounds invitation beyond just Urology to the entire School of Medicine, increasing attendance almost 10-fold.
Following is a YouTube link from the recorded Zoom meeting https://youtu.be/syxWzO8xe4Y