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Seminar: Pleuni Pennings - SFSU, 11am

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Pleuni Pennings, SFSU
Time of Event: 
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 11:00

National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)
1 Park Place, Suite 300
Annapolis, MD 21401

Seminar presented by Pleuni Pennings, Assistant Professor in the Biology Department of San Francisco State University.

From Dr. Pennings:

"I will talk about how treatment of HIV changed over time and how this affected the evolution of the virus within patients. It is well known that HIV treatment has improved drastically from the 1980s, when HIV was basically a death sentence, to nowadays, when people can mostly live long and healthy lives if they get the right treatment.  As an evolutionary biologist, I am interested to know how the virus that was known for its fast evolution was “tamed” such that it doesn’t evolve drug resistance anymore. 

We find that in the 1980s and early 1990s, the virus was able to evolve drug resistance quickly, through a process called "soft sweeps.” This changed as treatments became better and the virus became less likely to evolve drug resistance. If drug resistance evolved, it happened through a process called “hard sweeps.” Our work shows the critical importance of population size on the speed and mode of evolution of drug resistance. Better treatments lead to smaller population sizes and thus fewer drug resistance mutations, and slower or no evolution."


SESYNC seminars are open to all interested attendees. Join us in Annapolis!

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, funded through an award to the University of Maryland from the National Science Foundation, is a research center dedicated to accelerating data-driven scientific discovery at the interface of human and ecological systems. Visit us online at www.sesync.org and follow us on Twitter @SESYNC.

Event type: 
Event Attendance: 
Open to the Public