American AIDS research will pick up luster this fall when doctor-turned-entrepreneur Bernard Salick launches his new chain of for-profit AIDS treatment centers that will emphasize round-the-clock care, counseling and hospice care in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco. Known for his for-profit cancer treatment centers, last spring Salick founded Bentley Heath Care. One big coup was recruiting Time magazine’s Man of the Year Dr. David Ho of the Aaron Diamond Research Center to serve as senior adviser. According to Salick, Ho’s role will be to “define the treatment protocols and measure their outcomes, so we know what works and what doesn’t, especially with people not responding to the new combination of therapies.”

Salick also teamed up with another star of AIDS research last spring: Professor Luc Montagnier. After endowing a new professorship at New York City’s Queens College, Salick persuaded the French codiscover of HIV to accept the post. Montagnier is setting up a $30-million Center for Molecular and Cellular Biology to develop AIDS vaccines and simpler, less expensive treatments. 

Although the two projects are entirely separate, Salick said he hopes Montagnier and Ho will find ways to work together. 

And there’s another AIDS celeb the head-hunting honcho wants on the payroll: Dr. Robert Gallo. So will Gallo, the American codiscover of HIV, soon find himself working alongside his French archrival? Not likely, said Gallo spokesperson Jim Jennings. “Dr. Gallo is not in conversation with Mr. Salick about what he is or isn’t doing. It’s just now on is radar screen right now.”