HIV & Aging: From Mitochondria to the Metropolis - October 2-3, 2014


We are proud to host this conference in an effort to advance science and clinical care of this growing population by bringing together experts and new investigators in this emerging field. 

Poster Session and Cocktail Reception to explore interdisciplinary fields and translational science surrounding HIV and Aging.

Pre-Conference Mentoring Workshop offered to junior faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and otherwise new investigators via competitive application process. Slots are limited – apply early!

Registration fee covers costs of poster reception and reception refreshments, breakfast and lunch on October 3rd, and all Continuing Education credits. 

Growing Old with HIV (video from The Guardian)


KEYNOTE: Aging with HIV

Amy C. Justice, MD, MSc, PhD

Amy C. Justice
  • Professor of Medicine (General Medicine), Yale School of Medicine
  • Professor of Public Health (Health Policy), Yale School of Public Health
  • Section Chief of General Internal Medicine, VA Connecticut Healthcare System
  • Member, Executive Committee, CIRA
  • Director, Clinical and Health Services Research Core, CIRA

Dr. Justice has conducted research focusing on outcomes in chronic HIV infection for more than 20 years. Her goal is to use HIV infection as a model for improving outcomes in chronic disease by studying the association between mutable mediators of clinical outcome in HIV and intervening on these mediators. She is the Principal Investigator on the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) ( This research, initially funded by career development awards from the National Institute on Aging and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, considers the complex roles of aging, symptoms, medical treatment, adherence, patient-provider relationships, disease severity, and medical and psychiatric comorbid illness in determining survival and quality of life for people with HIV infection. Dr. Justice has experience with observational data including analyzing large and complex databases, comparing results across databases, and conducting observational studies. She has studied predictors of survival and quality of life and is expert in the development, validation, and evaluation of multivariable prognostic models. Dr. Justice has published over 120 papers related to this work, served on twenty expert panels addressing issues of understanding and improving clinical outcomes in HIV infection, and chaired NIH special emphasis grant reviews. She currently serves as a steering committee member of the Center for Health Quality, Outcomes, and Economic Research the Bedford Massachusetts VA HSR&D Center of Excellence, a member of the YCCI/CTSA Career Oversight Committee, and a mentor to the Indiana University-Moi University Kenya AIDS Care Initiative. Additionally she serves on the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS Executive Committee, National VA HIV-QUERI Executive Committee and the National VA HIV/HCV Technical Advisory Committee.

PLENARY: Lessons learned from the Geriatrics and Gerontology Field

Kevin P. High, MD, MS

  • Tinsley R. Harrison Professor and Chair Department of Internal Medicine
  • Chief, Section on Infectious Diseases Wake Forest School of Medicine

Dr. High is Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and has been a member of the faculty at Wake Forest since 1993. He is currently a member of the National Advisory Council for the National Institute on Aging (NIA), served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine from 2006-2010 and as Chair of the Education Committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America from 2008-2010. He is also a Past President and is currently Chair of the Geriatrics Committee of the Association of Specialty Professors. He has been on the editorial boards of Clinical Infectious Diseases and Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, and is an Associate Editor of Hazzard’s Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology textbook (6th & 7th editions). Dr. High is a national leader integrating gerontology and geriatrics into the specialties of Internal Medicine. He is also Principal Investigator for the national Coordinating Center Core for the 14 NIA-sponsored Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers.  Dr. High's laboratory is focused on translational research of mechanisms and clinical relevance of immune senescence, waning of immune function with age. His research work has been published in New England Journal of Medicine, Blood, Aging Cell, Clinical Infectious Diseases and Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Perry N Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH

Perry N. HalkitisPerry N Halkitis, Ph.D., M.S., MPH is Professor of Applied Psychology, Global Public Health, and Population Health, Director of the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior & Prevention Studies (CHIBPS), and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the Global Institute of Public Health at New York University. He is also an affiliate of the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research. Dr. Halkitis’ program of research examines the intersection between the HIV epidemic, drug abuse, and mental health burden, primarily in LGBT populations. Dr. Halkitis is lead editor of two volumes: HIV + Sex: The Psychological and Interpersonal Dynamics of HIV-seropositive Gay and Bisexual Men's Relationships. (American Psychological Association, 2005), and Barebacking: Psychosocial and Public Health Perspectives (2006, Haworth Press). His book, Methamphetamine Addiction: Biological Foundations, Psychological Factors, and Social Consequences was published in 2009, and his newest book, The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience, a 2014 Lambda Literary award nominee, which examines the life experiences of gay men who are long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS. His research program has been funded by various private and public entities including the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York Community Trust, and American Psychological Foundation, among others, at approximately a total of $20 million. He is Editor in Chief of the journal Behavioral Medicine, and serves on numerous other editorial boards. Dr. Halkitis is an elected member of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Health Services Research Administration Advisory Committee on HIV and STD Prevention.

Jon Sanford,M.Arch

Jon Sanford, M. Arch, is Director of the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture in the College of Architecture at Georgia Tech where he an instructor in the Master’s of Industrial Design (MID) program. He is also a Research Architect at the Rehab R&D Center at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Mr. Sanford received both BS and M.Arch. degrees from Georgia Tech and is one of the few architecturally-trained researchers engaged in accessible and universal design. He has been actively involved in research and development related to the accessibility and usability of products, technologies and environments for the past 25 years and was one of the authors of the Principles of Universal Design. He has also been the Principal Investigator on numerous research projects related to the design of accessible environments for older adults and people with disabilities and has conducted numerous projects for the US Access Board that have resulted in changes in the technical requirements in the American’s with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines.

Sanford is also the Co-Director of the NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Workplace Accommodations and his current work focuses on enhancing participation of older adults and individuals with disabilities at home, work and in the community through livable communities. He currently teaches a course in Universal Design in the Architecture and Industrial Design Programs and serves as an academic advisor to both MID and PhD students.

Wendy S Armstrong, MD, FIDSA

Dr. Armstrong received her M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School in 1994.  She completed her Internal Medicine internship, residency, chief residency and Infectious Diseases Fellowship at the University of Michigan.  Dr. Armstrong remained at the University of Michigan as a Clinical Instructor II in the Division of Infectious Diseases serving as the primary outpatient physician for the HIV/AIDS Treatment Program at the University of Michigan.  In 2001 she joined the Cleveland Clinic where she held the rank of Staff Physician in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Co-Director of the HIV/AIDS Center.   She is Interim Medical Director of the Ponce de Leon Center (Infectious Disease Program at Grady Health System and the Program Director for the Infectious Disease Fellowship Training Program at Emory University.  Dr. Armstrong has joined the ACTU at Emory, and the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).  She is currently working to establish the Emory CFAR Specimen Repository to facilitate HIV-related research, and to expand the HIV Solid Organ Transplantation program at Emory University.  

Kris A Oursler, MD

Dr. Oursler, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Gerontology, Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, received her MD degree and Masters of Science degree in clinical investigation from Johns Hopkins University. She completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Maryland and infectious disease fellowship at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Oursler's secondary appointments is in the UMSOM Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine. In addition, Dr. Oursler is on staff at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, where she is Deputy Director of the HIV program, an associate investigator in the Geriatric Research Education Clinical Center, and site PI of the multicenter NIH sponsored Veterans Aging Cohort Study. She is a junior faculty member in the UMB Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center.

Dr. Oursler conducts clinical research in the underlying mechanisms of reduced functional performance in older HIV-infected adults. Her research focuses on skeletal muscle oxidative dysfunction and metabolic effects of antiretroviral therapy. Her objective is to design effective prevention and treatment strategies that will improve and preserve function in this rapidly growing older patient population.

Susan Reif, PhD, LCSW

Dr. Reif is a research associate at the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research at Duke University. Dr. Reif has led and collaborated on over a dozen HIV-related research and demonstration projects over the last 15 years. She is currently leading the research effort for the Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative (SASI) a Ford Foundation funded project to address HIV in the Southern United States.

Sara LeGrand, PhD

Sara LeGrandDr. LeGrand is an Assistant Research Professor at the Duke Global Health Institute and Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research (CHPIR) with a doctoral degree in Health Services Research. Dr. LeGrand has extensive experience conducting qualitative and quantitative research related to HIV prevention and care with findings published in peer-reviewed journals. She currently serves as principal investigator, investigator and evaluator for numerous federally and foundation-funded HIV care and prevention grants. Dr. LeGrand is particularly interested in the design and evaluation of technology-based HIV prevention and care interventions, including those designed for older adults.

Beth D. Jamieson-Karavodin, PhD

Beth D. Jamieson-KaravodinFor 28 years, my research has focused on the pathogenesis of chronic viral infections, such as HIV-1.  For the past 14 years, these studies have been conducted exclusively in humans and have involved a variety of tissues such as peripheral blood, gastrointestinal associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), and lymph nodes.  As an investigator for the Multi-Center AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), my laboratory has been particularly interested in using retrospectively collected samples to explore the respective impact of aging and HIV-1-infection on the human immune system. My UCLA colleagues and I were the first to demonstrate that premature aging of the T-cell compartment is associated with faster progression to AIDS (Cao et al. JAIDS 2009).  Our later finding that aging and HIV-1-infection have additive, detrimental, effects on the naïve CD4+ T-cell compartment (Rickabaugh et al. PLoS One 2011) partially helps to explain why premature aging of the T-cell compartment would allow faster disease progression. For the last 6 years, I have worked with other MACS investigators to document and characterize the early development of a frailty-related-phenotype (FRP) in HIV-1-infected men. HIV-1-infected men not only develop frailty at a younger age that uninfected men, but these men are still at risk for age-inappropriate frailty even once they initiate ART.  In a recent collaborative effort with Dr. Steve Horvath, we have begun to address potential interactions between aging and HIV-1-infection at the molecular level.   Utilizing MACS samples we have demonstrated that HIV-1-infection accelerates aging-related methylation patterns within the peripheral blood by approximately 13 years (Manuscript Submitted).  Clearly, more information is needed regarding the cellular and molecular basis for earlier aging in HIV-1-infected men and the degree to which the peripheral immune system reflects changes occurring within other organs. 

William Lewis, MD

  • Professor Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
  • Professor (tenured), Pathology, Director, Cardiovascular Pathology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta GA

Research Interests:

- Mitochondrial DNA replication in disease: AIDS, congestive heart failure, hepatitis, renal failure One classic biological teaching is that mitochondria are the "powerhouses of the cell", particularly in tissues that require significant energy, like heart, liver and muscle. The focus of the Lewis lab is the diverse effects of toxins on mitochondria structure and function. The primary focus is the untoward mitochondrial effects of a class of drugs called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI) used to treat HIV infection, that are known to inhibit mitochondrial (mt-) DNA replication in vitro. These drugs are toxic to various tissues including heart, skeletal muscle, liver and kidney. Our overall goals are to (1) define the molecular mechanisms of how NRTIs change the abundance of precursors for mtDNA replication in vivo (2) define the effects of active NRTI triphosphates on the mitochondrial replicon in vivo (3) define the effects of specific polymerase mutants on the replication of mtDNA in vivo and (4) define the effects of the mtDNA template itself on its replication in vivo. The approach taken employs tissue specific targeting of genes involved in the processes and evaluation of structural and functional defects that result using state of the art biochemical, molecular, physiological, and pathological approaches. Conditional, tissue specific targeting also is addressed. The direct clinical benefits of these studies are twofold (1) the toxicity of important compounds is defined so that better therapeutics can be designed and administered and (2) mechanisms of organ specific changes in HIV disease and related illnesses are elucidated.

Matthew S. Freiberg, MD, MSc

Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology

Dr. Freiberg is interested in the effects of infectious etiologies, such as HIV and influenza, and substance use on chronic disease outcomes and all-cause mortality.

Igho Ofotokun, MD, MSc

School: Emory School of Medicine Department: Department of Medicine / Infectious Diseases

I am interested in translation research focused on the complications of chronic HIV-infection and antiretroviral clinical pharmacology with emphasis on viral and antiretroviral disruption of the immuno-skeletal interface, and compartmental drug exposure

David Vance, PhD, MS, MGS

David VanceDr. David Vance is a psychologist who actively pursues research in cognitive aging, cognitive remediation, and aging with HIV. He is currently involved with several studies and has two funded studies: 1) Speed of Processing Training with Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, and 2) Olfactory/Gustatory Dysfunction in Older African American and Caucasians with HIV. He is also co-chair for the Neurocognitive Group of the Women’s Initiative HIV Study (WIHS), a nation-wide longitudinal cohort study. His scholarship has led to: 1) numerous publications (+160 peer-review articles) and national and international presentations; 2) a White House invitation to attend the first forum on aging with HIV; and 3) being an invited member of the NIH Think Tank – Working Group on HIV and Aging sponsored by the Office of AIDS.

Christina S. Meade, PhD

Christina S. Meade, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical School and a member of the Duke Global Health Institute, the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, and the Duke Center for AIDS Research. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Yale University in 2006 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in drug abuse and brain imaging at Harvard Medical School in 2008. A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Meade has extensive patient-oriented behavioral science research experience related to HIV/AIDS, drug addiction, and mental illness, with over 40 peer-reviewed publications in this area. She is co-investigator on the Southern Consortium Node of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network, which works closely with community partners and colleagues nationwide in research and dissemination activities designed to improve the treatment of addictions through research and implementation of evidence-based practice. As a member of the HIV and Gender special interest groups, Dr. Meade works on projects examining HIV risk behavior and gender-related disparities among drug users. Given that most people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS live in the developing world, she has initiated collaborations to expand her research on HIV, drug abuse, and mental illness to South Africa.

Alan L. Landay, PhD

Alan L. LandayDr. Alan Landay is the Thomas J. Coogan Sr. Chair and Professor of the Immunology/Microbiology Department of Rush Medical College Chicago.  He has over 30 years of experience in HIV research and has developed strong collaborative relationships with investigators across institutions in Chicago.  He is known internationally as an expert in HIV immunopathogenesis and immune based therapy.  He Co Chairs the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR) Etiology and Pathogenesis Panel and serves on the OAR Panel on HIV and Aging.  He leads the Chicago Developmental CFAR and serves as the Associate Chair of Rush’s Center for Disparity in HIV and Aging (CEDHA).

Michael S. Saag, MD

Dr. Saag focuses on studies of HIV and HCV clinical, translational, and outcomes research. He has published over 300 articles in peer reviewed journals. During his Fellowship at UAB, Dr. Saag conceived the concept of a comprehensive HIV outpatient (1917) clinic dedicated to the provision of comprehensive patient care in conjunction with the conduct of high quality clinic trials, basic science, and clinical outcomes research. He is the Principal Investigator of the CFAR Network of Integrated Clinical Systems (CNICS), a national resource of merged clinical data and specimens from 8 CFARs in the US (  Dr. Saag is Co-Editor of the textbook AIDS Therapy (Churchill Livingston, now in its 3rd edition) and currently serves as an Editor of the Sanford Guide for Antimicrobial Agents and the Sanford HIV Guide. He recently served on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine (and as Chair of the Infectious Disease Subspecialty Board) and has served recently on the NIH Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council. Dr. Saag currently serves on the International AIDS Society-USA Board of Directors and is a member of the HHS Guidelines Panel on Antiretroviral Therapy.

Why Attend

The HIV and Aging: From Mitochondria to the Metropolis conference will serve as a translational science meeting to address the basic science, clinical, and socio-behavioral aspects of Aging with HIV/AIDS. This conference will afford you the opportunity to:

  1. Hear from internationally-recognized HIV and Aging experts along with representatives from NIH, VA, and other funding agencies
  2. Showcase your posters focused on Aging and/or HIV
  3. Network with leading scientists, educators, and clinicians working in the fields of gerontology and HIV-related studies


Courtyard by Marriott Atlanta Decatur Downtown/Emory & Conference Center
130 Clairemont Ave
Decatur, GA 30030

678-244-9311 (direct line)
404-377-2726 (fax) 

For reservations vist the conference reservations page.


Pre-Conference Mentoring Workshop: Thursday, October 2nd (morning)

Workshop target group: Junior faculty qualifying as early stage and new investigators and post-doctoral fellows who have already identified a research topic at the intersection of HIV and Aging about which they have a research idea. Some pilot data for a planned application for research support would be a plus, but is not a requirement.

Workshop Objectives:

  • To provide mentoring and support to early career investigators intending to pursue research projects at the intersection of HIV and Aging
  • To offer constructive feedback on research ideas
  • To facilitate linkages between new and senior investigators in the fields of HIV and Aging
  • To provide early career investigators with information about NIH support for research on HIV and Aging
  • To provide information about the NIH grant application review process and to offer suggestions for successful grant applications
  • To provide opportunities for feedback from and networking with NIH program officers
  • To exit the workshop with a revised Aims page (and, possibly, a clarified sense of the project’s design and methods)

Download Workshop Application Information

Program Day 1: Thursday October 2nd (afternoon/evening)

Thursday, October 02, 2014

12:00 - 1:00pm

Conference Registration Open

1:00 - 1:15pm

Welcome by Host CFARs and Centers for Aging

1:15 - 2:15pm

Keynote: Aging with HIV
Speaker: Amy Justice, MD

2:15 - 3:15pm   

Why study aging? Lessons learned from geriatrics and gerontology
Kevin High, MD

3:15 - 3:30pm   


3:30 - 4:30pm  

Biopsychosocial Conditions Facing Adults Aging with HIV: Risks and Resiliencies
Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH

4:30 - 5:30pm   

Plenary Panel: Perspectives from the Experts: Conversations with Community Members
Living and Aging with HIV
Moderators: Jon Sanford, M.Arch.; Wendy Armstrong, MD, FIDSA
Panelists: TBD

5:30 - 7:30pm

Poster Session and Reception

For complete details download the conference brochure.

Program Day 2: Friday, October 3rd (morning/early afternoon)

Friday, October 03, 2014

7:30 - 8:00am

Continental Breakfast and Conference Registration

8:00 - 8:45am

Interactive Poster Debriefing: Oral Presentation of Top 3 Rated Posters

8:45 - 9:15am

Frailty in HIV Infected Older Adults
Kris Ann Oursler, MD

9:15 - 10:00am

Intersection of HIV Disease and Health Disparities among Older Adults in the South
Susan Reif, PhD, LCSW; Sara LeGrand, PhD

10:00 - 10:15am

Break -- Coffee and Snack Service

10:15 - 11:30am

Breakout Sessions: HIV Associated non–AIDS Conditions 


Session A: Basic Science

1. Mitochondrial Damage Associated with HANA
Bill Lewis, PhD

2. Intersection of HIV-1-infection and Aging within the immune system; implications for HANA
Beth Jamieson, PhD

Session B: Disease Pathology

1. Cardiovascular Disorders: Normal Aging or HANA?
Matt Freiberg, MD, MSc

2. Old Bones – Can We Turn Back the Clock?
Igho Ofotokun, MD

Session C: Neuropsychiatric Conditions

1. Neurocognitive Aging and HIV Disorders: Implications of Positive and Negative Neuroplasticity
David E. Vance, PhD, MS, MGS

2. Mental Health and Substance Abuse among HIV Positive Adults
Christina Meade, PhD

11:30 - 11:45am

Box Lunch Provided

11:45am - 12:45pm

Plenary Panel: Challenges and Disparities: Living with and Caretaking
for PLWH with Multimorbidities
Panelists: Alan Landay, Kevin High, Mike Saag

12:45 - 1:00pm

Conference Close

For complete details download the conference brochure.

Presentation Downloads