Edsel Salvaña

Infectious disease specialist, molecular epidemiologist
TED Fellow Edsel Salvaña studies the genetics of HIV, and he worries that we are just a few mutations away from the next deadly pandemic.

Why you should listen

Dr. Edsel Salvaña discovered that the driving force behind a new AIDS epidemic in the Philippines is the entry and spread of a deadlier strain of HIV -- a situation that can easily occur anywhere in the world.

Salvaña is an infectious disease specialist, molecular epidemiologist and is the director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the National Institutes of Health at the University of the Philippines in Manila. He is using next-generation sequencing and other cutting-edge genetic tools to study HIV viral diversity and superinfection. He is looking at how HIV develops drug resistance to better understand why his country suddenly has the fastest growing HIV epidemic in Asia; and why HIV treatment that works well in developed countries is failing on emerging HIV strains in the Philippines and resource-limited settings. He trains doctors in infectious diseases, and supervises the care of several thousand HIV patients at the Philippine General Hospital. He has been a national force in the formulation of HIV treatment guidelines, campaigning against stigma, and raising awareness.

Salvaña's advocacy work has been featured in Science, and he has been recognized with numerous national and international awards including the "Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World" from JCI International and the Young Physician Leader Award from the Interacademy Medical Panel of the World Academy of Sciences. He was named a TED Fellow in 2017.

Edsel Salvaña’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Edsel Salvaña