If Anyone Can Put an AIDS Cure Together, it Will Be You!!

By Kambiz Shekdar, Ph.D.

That is what my doctoral thesis advisor, Nobel-laureate Gunter Blobel, MD, PhD told me, and now I say the same to you: If anyone can put an AIDS cure together, it will be you!

Impressive and rapid breakthroughs in science are possible only when committed people band together to propel science forward. We have just witnessed this with multiple COVID vaccines developed and deployed in the span of 20 months. Yet in 40 years of AIDS, no vaccine, no cure. Not even people living with HIV are pushing for a cure. 

Certain rare individuals are naturally resistant to HIV infection. This natural biological resistance has been used to cure AIDS in just two people so far. Multiple groups working on developing safer and broadly-applicable cures based on the same science have run into roadblocks. A biotechnology I invented at The Rockefeller University can increase the efficiency of these approaches. (I know I may be losing you with jargon, but please stay with me!) 

Known as Chromovert, the technology uses “molecular beacons” to detect and purify even exceedingly rare, optimally engineered curative cells. The same tech has already been validated in other applications. For example, a biotech company I co-founded used it to create cells that mimic human pain perception to discover a non-addictive clinical stage pain blocker fast-tracked by the FDA. In addition, it has been used in flavors research in collaborations with Coke, Kraft and Nestle. The technology was recently published earlier this year.

However, it’s not the science that’s limiting a global cure for AIDS, it’s accepting AIDS as a way of life. The AIDS space is full of experts on using pills to treat and/or prevent HIV, and AIDS has become a way of life. Help me break this cycle. In addition to science, it takes capital and sheer will to develop a global cure. 

I am Dr. Kambiz Shekdar. I started my PhD studies as a 19-year-old in a Nobel-prize winning lab at The Rockefeller University during the height of AIDS. At Rock U., I invented the fundamental biotechnology that we now realize can increase the efficiency of existing, but stunted, strategies to cure AIDS. I co-founded a biotech company and a non-profit based on the tech with the late Nobel-laureate Gunter Blobel. 

I left my role as Chief Scientific Officer of that company to create Research Foundation to Cure AIDS (RFTCA) as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. In exchange for $1, RFTCA obtained a royalty-free worldwide license to the technology I invented. RFTCA has collaborations with Columbia University Medical Center, New York Stem Cell Foundation and New York Blood Center to develop a global cure on a not-for-profit basis. 

I need donations from $1 to $1 million to cure and end AIDS for good. If you care about this cause, I would be happy to meet with you at any place and any time to discuss how we can team up to end AIDS for good. I can be reached at

December 1 is World AIDS Day. With your help, perhaps one day we can use it to mark the birth and rolling out of a global cure as well as a remembrance of those lost.


Rockefeller University alumnus and biotech inventor Kambiz Shekdar, Ph.D., is the president of Research Foundation to Cure AIDS and Science & LGBTQ editor at WestView News. To support RFTCA, go to

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