“We selected Bette as our 2018 Scientist of the Year to recognize not only her groundbreaking contribution to the mosaic vaccine and the fight against HIV, but also for her continued commitment to trying new and innovative scientific approaches,” said Bea Riemschneider, the magazine’s editorial director.
When the first efficacy study for the mosaic vaccine was announced last year, Korber said, “My life’s work has been devoted to developing strategies to create a global HIV vaccine; mosaics were a realization of one such strategy.”
“It was initially very difficult to convince biologists that mosaic proteins, designed by evolving sequences in a computer, could ever lead to a viable vaccine approach. It is hugely rewarding to see this progress being made.”
“Thanks to experimentalist colleagues who were willing to give this radical but reasoned approach a try, mosaics have come a long way, and they have shown enough promise in monkey trials to merit further testing in people,” she said. “Now we have to settle in for few more years of suspense as the human trial unfolds. I’m delighted, relieved and a bit astonished that the mosaic concept has come this far.”