A Message from the ARI Director
The end of one year and start of another encourages reflection and resolution. The past year has been a most significant one for the UCSF AIDS Research Institute, and progress in 2014 makes me optimistic about the New Year. In 2014, the ARI conducted a truly detailed assessment in the course of our first top-to-bottom strategic review and plan in many years. Led by professional consultants and our own expert staff, we reaffirmed the substantial scale and impressive quality of the HIV enterprise across the University and were not surprised that ours remains the leading coordinated HIV effort in the world—and the only program ranked #1 by US News and World Report in all of UCSF.
At the same time, we were confronted with a harsh reality facing all of biomedical research including ours: Research funding has not recovered with the rest of the economy; and HIV has, for many, faded from sight, yet the needs of our ARI community at UCSF are more pressing than ever. The tools at our disposal are ever more potent, and the opportunities more exciting. ARI member investigators lead the world in searching for an HIV cure; our broad community is engaged in a serious campaign to make San Francisco the first city in the world to end HIV transmission, AIDS deaths and stigma; and our care programs continue to be models for the world to address the most important challenges in all affected populations.
The ARI strategic plan acknowledged our tremendous accomplishments and gave us a roadmap to do even better. Our faculty, staff and programs in research, clinical care and education need resources, and the ARI is working in close alignment with University development leaders to better communicate our achievements and needs to our philanthropic community. New staff coming on board in early 2015 will help support this key initiative.
The ARI will continue and enhance our efforts to nurture the next generation of HIV leaders. Already, the ARI provides crucially important direct support to some of the most promising advanced HIV trainees, allowing them to work and learn in the internationally recognized HIV/AIDS Division clinics at San Francisco General Hospital. We are also recruiting new leadership for our Junior Faculty in AIDS Research program, aimed at supporting the entry career phase of HIV-involved faculty across the entire University.
I believe the New Year will be a strong one for the ARI. We have defined milestones to mark our progress even as we recognize the certainty of new opportunities and challenges arising in our global endeavor. We are fully moved in at our new Mission Bay home, co-located in Mission Hall with our close partner Global Health Sciences as well as the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, AIDS Education and Training Center, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Clinical & Translational Science Institute. We are now just a block away from the Center for AIDS Research, Center for HIV Information and Gladstone Institutes, and within minutes by shuttle of our major group of colleagues at San Francisco General.
We hope to use our exciting new location to achieve much in 2015 and will keep you informed as we continue our commitment to ending the global scourge of HIV/AIDS.
Paul A. Volberding, MD