May 6, 2015

Wood honored for HIV/AIDS research

In a world threatened with emerging viruses, Charles Wood faces a daily challenge: “I don’t have enough time during the day or at night,” he said. “I wish I had more time.”

Wood is the 2015 recipient of the University of Nebraska’s Outstanding Research and Creative Activity award. The ORCA recognizes faculty for outstanding research or creative activity of national or international significance.

Wood has spent his career driving innovations in HIV/AIDS research. His many studies have led to new prevention and management efforts, and new treatment methods that suppress the virus. Wood also founded a new research center, the Nebraska Center for Virology, a collaboration between UNL, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Creighton University.

“Being able to understand the basics of how viruses work, that what we’re doing here will enable us to prepare for anything that’s coming,” he said. “It’s such an exciting area, an exciting field.”

Woods has conducted pioneering research into the transmission of HIV from mother to child. He also studies the development in children of Kaposi’s sarcoma, a virus linked to a cancer common in AIDS patients.

In Zambia, ground zero for the HIV/AIDS pandemic, Wood helped develop infrastructure and training that empowers the fight. Partnerships lead to clinics for treatment and research. And scholars from Zambia and China are trained at UNL before returning to their home countries.

“By doing this collaboration and training, we are attracting people to go back to the country, and increasing the human resource and increasing the infrastructure for research,” he said.