Date of Birth: 15th Jul 1959
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome): a collection of symptoms and infections resulting from damage to the immune system- the body’s defence against disease. AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
BIOSTATISTICS: the use of statistical methods to collect, analyse, and interpret biological data. In a public health context, biostatistical studies are used to understand the overall health and wellbeing of the population.
EPIDEMIOLOGY: the study of the causes, distribution, and control of disease in populations
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus): a retrovirus spread between sexual partners, by infected needles, and from pregnant mothers to their unborn children. It breaks down the body’s defences and later causes AIDS. There are various strains of HIV, for example HIV-1, which is more easily transmitted than HIV-2.
RETROVIROLOGY: the study of retroviruses and the diseases they cause
RETROVIRUS: a virus that contains RNA as its genetic code, instead of DNA. Many retroviruses produce tumours and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is one as well.
Dr. Cleghorn enjoys cooking and has won prizes for his culinary creations.
Caribbean Icons in STI Volume 2
Dr Farley Cleghorn is an international expert on HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases. His work has focused on the origin, incidence and distribution of HIV/AIDS, clinical vaccine trails, antiretroviral treatment, the examination of the HIV virus structure, and how HIV infection progresses into AIDS. He has made many original contributions to the field of human retrovirology in the area of HIV-1 and was an early pioneer in the management of HIV/AIDS patients in the Caribbean.
Farley Richard Cleghorn was born on 15th July, 1959 in San Fernando, Trinidad. He attended Grant Memorial School and then Presentation College, San Fernando. He taught for a year at the San Fernando Technical Institute and, despite his love for literature and the arts, he applied to study medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Jamaica, and graduated in 1982.
He had an early interest in retroviruses and was instrumental in opening, in 1986, Trinidad’s first clinic for HIV/AIDS, in partnership with Professor Courtenay Bartholomew. This work eventually led to a fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in the United States and, in 1992, a Master of Public Health in epidemiology and biostatistics at the School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, USA.
Dr Cleghorn held several positions at the University of Maryland including Assistant Professor, Deputy Director, and Senior Scientist in the university’s Institute of Human Virology, directed by Dr Robert Gallo, one of the world’s leading biomedical researchers and the co-discoverer of HIV. During his tenure from 1995 to 2004, he built the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention and its research programme became one of recognised excellence.
Currently, he is the Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of the Futures Group International LLC, Washington, DC. Futures Group International, formerly known as Constella Futures, has over 30 country offices worldwide and has a strong presence in India, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, supporting HIV/AIDS research, public health and social programmes. He is also working with the Institute of Human Virology, the Medical Research Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago, and UWI on joint HIV/AIDS research in the region. In addition, he is involved in providing training to health professionals in the US, Caribbean, Brazil and Nigeria who are working in the area of HIV/AIDS.
Among the awards he has received are the Institute of Caribbean Studies’ first award in Medicine in 1993, and the Charles C Shepard Award in 1998 for outstanding contribution to HIV/AIDS research from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2004, Dr Cleghorn was honoured by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network for “vaccine research and innovative and creative contributions.”
Dr Farley Cleghorn lives by the words of Thomas Paine, “Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”