Professor Alexandra Calmy obtained her medical diploma in 1994 and was trained in internal medicine and in Infectious diseases; she completed a PhD in clinical research in 2009 in Sydney, Australia. She was nominated Associate Professor in 2014 and Full Professor in 2021 and is Head of the HIV/AIDS Unit of the University Hospital of Geneva. Professor Calmy’s research interest focuses on public health and humanitarian response to HIV/AIDS, specifically the provision of antiretroviral therapy and management of side effects in resource limited settings. She worked with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Cambodia in 1996 and has subsequently supported MSF’s HIV/AIDS work for more than ten years. She is a member of the WHO working groups on the writing and the implementation of guidelines related to the treatment of HIV in developing countries since 2001, co-lead of CSS13 committee at the “Agence National de Recherche sur le SIDA – maladies émergentes” (ANRS-MIE), member of the scientific board of the Swiss HIV Study Cohort (SHCS), and co-chair of the COVID-19 Federal Commission on clinical care in Switzerland.
Main fields of interest: The research projects conducted by the HIV/AIDS team are diverse. They include Swiss and international interventional clinical trials, epidemiological studies based on data from the Swiss HIV cohort study, as well as cohort studies focusing on metabolic effects associated with antiretroviral therapy. The clinical trials initiated by the research team focus on 1) progression of atherosclerosis in HIV patients under HAART after 48 weeks of lipid-lowering drug intervention and 2) a Swiss multicenter trial designed to assess the need for a statin prescription in patients whose antiretroviral treatment was changed. The team is also interested in the early detection of bone anomalies with the use of a high-resolution scanner for the analysis of the bone microstructure. Other epidemiological projects use the data of the Swiss cohort study to investigate patients with coronary heart disease, comparing their mortality with that of patients not infected with HIV. The centre also participates actively in all the projects initiated by the Swiss cohort study. A cohort of patients with metabolic complications and lipodystrophy (LIPO and Metabolism Group) was established 5 years ago. This work has demonstrated that a model of integrated multidisciplinary care can be beneficial for patients with complex comorbidities. The research group has a strong interest in clinical and epidemiological research projects conducted in countries with limited resources. Partnerships have been established with MSF, WHO, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and hospitals or hospital networks (Esther). These partnerships allow us to study different epidemics and patient management systems; it also offers training opportunities and a large variety of study fields.