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January 2010
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AIDS Research Institute Nominates First Endowed Chair

Steve Morin, PhD
Steve Morin

On Dec. 1, World AIDS Day, the HIV/AIDS community reached another milestone: Steve Morin, PhD, was nominated at UCSF for the Walter Gray Endowed Chair in HIV Science of the AIDS Research Institute (ARI). Morin is director of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS).

The endowed chair is the first of its kind for the ARI.

Walter Gray left his estate upon his death in 2004 to the ARI at the recommendation of his friend Bob Hill. Having lost a friend and ex-partner to HIV/AIDS, Gray was connected to the cause.

"It is fitting that the person nominated to hold the endowed chair established in Walter Gray's name is someone who is as passionate in his fight against AIDS as Walter Gray was," UCSF Department of Medicine Chair Talmadge King, MD, says of Morin.

While Gray's generosity funded most of the endowment, $70,000 is still needed for its completion. The new chair will allow Morin to bring prominence to HIV prevention and policy science, and flexibility in recruitment, leadership planning and center management.

John Greenspan (left) and Talmadge King (right) present Steve Morin with the Walter Gray Endowed Chair in HIV Science of the AIDS Research Institute
John Greenspan (left) and Talmadge King (right) present Steve Morin with the Walter Gray Endowed Chair in HIV Science of the AIDS Research Institute.

"So many gay men really want to do something about HIV because it's affected their lives in significant ways, but they haven't always thought about being of direct assistance with financial support for AIDS research. A precedent such as the Walter Gray Endowed Chair becomes a model for how people can make a difference," says ARI Director John Greenspan, BDS, PhD.

Morin served as an assistant professor of medicine at UCSF in the mid-1980s before spending 11 years working with Representative Nancy Pelosi on AIDS policy in Washington, D.C. Morin returned to UCSF in 1997, and in 2004 was named director of CAPS, a center he helped create. Morin also serves as director of the AIDS Policy Research Center.

In this next year, Morin has ambitions to implement multi-level HIV intervention studies – a major undertaking for Morin and CAPS, but one that brings promise in reducing the number affected by the disease.

"It's a responsibility to honor the memory of people who have been so generous and thoughtful as to make this incredible conribution," Morin says. "I'm very appreciative to Walter Gray. I hope that we are able to live up to his expectations."

For more information on the Walter Gray Endowed Chair in HIV Science of the AIDS Research Institute, contact Alan Beach at 415/597-4982 or ABeach@ari.ucsf.edu.

Top photo by Lynnly Labovitz; bottom photo by Saul Bromberger and Sandra Hoover Photography

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