August 6, 2003
A George Washington University professor of microbiology said he lost priceless research on an AIDS vaccine when he was mugged at knifepoint while attending the South African AIDS Conference 2003. James Mullins said Monday that seven men attacked him Sunday afternoon outside his hotel in Durban, taking his laptop, which contained years of research that could have led to an AIDS vaccine. Mullins said the research, which has not been published, focused on HIV and how it changes in the body over time. "It was cutting-edge material that I wanted to release when I spoke at the conference this morning, but obviously I was unable to do this." Mullins said he had back-up copies of some of his work, but much of his latest research had not been copied. He has offered a $1,000 reward for the return of his laptop.
08.06.03; Agence France-Presse