NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Caltech President Dr. David Baltimore, one of the world's leading scientists, will speak on the search for an AIDS vaccine, "Finding the Cure," as part of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory-sponsored von Krmn Lecture Series, Thursday, Feb. 17 at JPL, and on Friday, Feb. 18 at Pasadena City College. Both lectures begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

AIDS, caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is a major worldwide infectious killer, and the epidemic of HIV infection is not abating. Although the highly developed countries of North America and Western Europe have been able to ameliorate the symptoms of infection and reduce the rate of infection, the virus spreads at a phenomenal rate in Asia and Africa. Baltimore will discuss the status of international research into an AIDS vaccine.

Baltimore, a Nobel laureate and recently named a 1999 recipient of the National Medal of Science by President Clinton, has been a major figure in Washington as head of the National Institutes of Health AIDS Vaccine Research Committee. In 1986 he was co-chair of the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine's committee on a national strategy for AIDS.

He played a pivotal role in the mid-1970s in creating a consensus on national science policy regarding recombinant DNA research. This nationwide effort helped allay reservations about genetics research, and also established research standards that are followed by the genetics community to this day.

Prior to his appointment as Caltech president in 1997, Baltimore was a faculty member at MIT and was founding director of MIT's Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He served as director from the institute's creation in 1982 until 1990, when he became president of Rockefeller University.

The lecture on Feb. 17 is at JPL, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, off the 210 (Foothill) freeway. The Feb. 18 lecture is at The Forum at Pasadena City College, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd.

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Mary Beth Murrill