Myron Cohen is Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Health; Yeargan-Bate Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, and Epidemiology; Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases; and Director, Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases.
What is your clinical expertise?
I am an infectious disease specialist. I have worked at the UNC since 1980, and have cared for patients with HIV disease over the course of the pandemic. I have had the opportunity to study the biology and epidemiology of HIV transmission, detection and management of acute HIV infection, and many aspects of HIV prevention, both biological and behavioral. Work from our group has focused on effects on antiretroviral therapy (ART) on HIV replication in the genital tract; these translational studies led to the conclusion that ART could be expected to interrupt HIV transmission. Supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) and industry, I had the privilege to plan and execute the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 052 study. The results of this study demonstrated that successful treatment of HIV can virtually eliminate HIV transmission, and this approach has become central to HIV prevention worldwide.
Tell us about your current role in the Department of Medicine.
I have directed the Division of Infectious Diseases at UNC since 1990, managing more than 300 faculty, trainees and staff. I founded and direct the UNC Institute of Global Health & Infectious Diseases, which had revenue greater than $50 million in 2015. I have helped to recruit and worked with nearly all the faculty working on HIV in the Schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Pharmacy at UNC. I have worked in successful collaboration with the state of North Carolina and several county health departments for delivery of STD/HIV prevention and treatment services.
What current project or initiative at UNC are you involved in that you are excited about?
I am most excited about the AMP study. AMP stands for the Antibody Mediated Prevention of HIV acquisition and is a collaboration between the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). I am the protocol chair. The AMP study tests an antibody called VRC01, a manufactured antibody against HIV. This is a new idea for HIV prevention that is related to what has been done in HIV vaccine research.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I like to ski. I spent a year living in Switzerland and one of my favorite family memories is of my wife Dr. Gail Henderson and our children skiing. Gail and I continue to ski each winter.