[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he seventh annual Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR gathered motorcycle-riding supporters for another successful run, with participants such as rugby star and anti-bullying advocate Ben Cohen and actress/model Nina Senicar, among many others, traveling through multiple states, starting in New York City and looping back to Philadelphia and making high-profile pit stops along the way at Kiehl’s stores. Each year the LifeRide fuels HIV awareness and research funding. Over the past six years, Kiehl’s, makers of natural skin care, beauty, and cosmetics for face, body, and hair, has raised $1.6 million for amfAR, providing funding for eight cure-related research projects.
This year, the eleven-day, 1,100-mile event raised $150,000 and proceeds will go to a cure-focused research project led by Satish Pillai, PhD, Associate Investigator at the Blood Systems Research Institute and Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. The project focuses on understanding more about HIV reservoirs, where the virus lies dormant even if an individual has suppressed his or her viral load to an undetectable level on antiretroviral therapy. Reaching the HIV reservoir has been a significant trouble spot in the search for a therapeutic cure. With an eye toward building a knowledge base for developing anti-latency drugs, Dr. Pillai is studying two cellular proteins, p21 and schaflen 11, that keep the virus in its hidden state and are present in HIV-infected people with the smallest reservoir. The well-respected researcher is also on the leadership team for the San Francisco-based amfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research.
For more information about amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, log on to: www.amfar.org.