On 19-20 April 1998, researchers and clinical investigators from around the world gathered in Pavia, Italy, for Cellular Factors: Targets for the Treatment of HIV Infection, a comprehensive 2 day meeting designed to share the most recent findings in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS treatment research. Because viral replication is dependent on the host cell machinery, many researchers are seeking new treatment strategies that control HIV by limiting the availability of cellular proteins and metabolic functions. Other approaches, such as gene therapy, seek to confer cellular resistance to the effects of viral gene products. Conference participants discussed a range of new therapeutic approaches, as well as new research into the workings of the cells that are targets of HIV infection. The meeting was sponsored by the Research Institute for Genetic and Human Therapy (RIGHT), with the support of Bristol-Myers Squibb Immunology and Policlinico San Matteo. Established in 1994 and codirected by Drs Julianna Lisziewicz and Franco Lori, RIGHT is a non-profit organization dedicated to translating basic research into clinical trials. With laboratories at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and at the Policlinico San Matteo in Pavia, Italy, RIGHT works with an international research network of molecular biologists, virologists and immunologists to understand how diseases might be attacked at the molecular level. Current research focuses on prevention and treatment of HIV infection. Several clinical studies are now underway. Hydroxyurea, which targets a cellular enzyme, is being tested in combination with antiretroviral drugs to inhibit HIV-1 replication and control the onset of resistance. In gene therapy pilot studies, a novel antiviral gene is being tested for its ability to confer cellular resistance to HIV.