The Marty Delaney Memorial Lecture at CROI
January 25, 2009 Dear Members of the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) Program Committee, When Martin Delaney died on January 23, 2009, we all lost a pioneer and leader. Beyond the deep and personal loss for anyone who knew or worked with Marty, the impact resonates in countless others who have benefited from his groundbreaking efforts- people living with HIV/AIDS, treatment activists, researchers, clinicians, pharmaceutical personnel, and policy makers. In honor of Martin Delaney, we respectfully request the establishment of the Martin Delaney Memorial Lecture as part of the permanent CROI program. This lecture, especially within the forum of CROI, would be a fitting recognition of Martin's considerable contributions to research, which included the transformation of the very structures by which lifesaving drugs are studied and access to them is provided. To honor Martin Delaney is to recognize the unique historical role that community advocates have played and continue to play in the translation of research into meaningful progress against the AIDS epidemic. Because of the brave advocacy of Martin and his peers, community members serve on scientific peer-review committees, protocol teams, data monitoring committees, regulatory review bodies and treatment guidelines panels. Community members have successfully fought for increases in research funding and worked alongside investigators throughout HIV drug development processes. In keeping with the manner in which the Bernard Fields and N'Galy-Mann lectures honor the pioneering work of their namesakes, the Martin Delaney lecture would place community perspective into the presentations, discussions, and critiques of the scientific investigations presented at CROI. The creation of the Martin Delaney Memorial Lecture would recognize and honor the immeasurable contributions of community members in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Most importantly, it would pay most fitting tribute to a great leader who contributed enormously to the search for scientific solutions to end the epidemic. The undersigned individuals and organizations support and encourage the approval of this proposal and thank the CROI organizers in advance for their consideration on this matter.