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Cloettapreis_2004_Nr_32

2003). As regards to HIV-1, the only well characterized human popula- tion escape mutants are individuals who are homozygous for CCR5 ⌬32. The resulting truncated chemokine receptor provides resistance to HIV-1 infection and is present in approximately 2% of Caucasian in- dividuals. However, CCR5 ⌬32 was selected approximately 700 years ago, not by HIV, but possibly by another pathogen (Stephens, 1998, Elvin, 2004, Mecsas, 2004). If no effective control of the HIV-1 pande- mic is achieved, the continuing pressure may give rise to a formal selec- tion of a HIV-resistant human population. For years researchers have been studying the determinants of acquired immunity to HIV-1; and with the same intensity and funding we should now define the cellular determinants of susceptibility to HIV-1. Our work will continue to probe the genetic basis of interindividual diffe- rences in retroviral restriction. This information is to be placed in the context of the primate phylogeny, through detailed comparative geno- mics. Acknowledgments I wish to express my appreciation to the Cloëtta Foundation for having distinguished my work. I accept this honor as a recognition of the rewarding but difficult task of being both a clinician and a physician engaged in laboratory research. Rewarding because, over the years, I have been surprised by many observations in the laboratory and by how they have shaped my understanding of clinical medicine. I also thank The Swiss National Science Foundation for 10 years of continuous support. I dedicate this award to the memory of my father and grandfather, phy- sicians caring for patients with infectious diseases. My very special thanks to my wife Anen, to my mother, and to Nicolás and Adriana. 24

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