Gilead Sciences Research Scholars Program – Dr. Shringar Rao’s curious personality and commitment to solving health disparities inspire her passion to contribute to the advancement of novel scientific achievements. Even as a young researcher, she has a clear and ambitious aim: no one should die from an HIV-related cause. She is collaborating with a large number of other researchers to achieve this goal.
“If we really want to make a difference, then we need to collaborate with people all over the world,” says Shringar, a virologist at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, who is working to create interventions that can eliminate latent HIV in communities around the world. “As a scientist, this involves engaging with diverse communities.”
Shringar is one of 50 early-career researchers supported by Gilead’s Research Scholars Program (RSP) who are working to advance scientific understanding in areas of unmet medical need for HIV patients. This year marks nearly a decade since the program’s inception, which rewards junior researchers in a number of fields while also working to lower obstacles to entry for minority applicants. The RSP also continues to connect researchers around the world in order to stimulate collaborative research approaches in the endeavor to help end the HIV epidemic for everyone, everywhere.
Gilead Sciences Research Scholars Program
The RSP money comes at a critical time in the careers of many early-career HIV researchers. With the financing, the scholars will be able to study ideas outside of the box and maybe further establish ideas that would not normally obtain funding, establishing the groundwork for their future careers.
“The Research Scholars Program is important and beneficial to junior faculty because it opens doors that they may not have been able to enter otherwise,” says Dr. Gaea Daniel, a 2021 RSP award recipient whose work focuses on HIV prevention research and strategies to advance health equity in support of Black women.