A UF professor is working to cure feline AIDS and human HIV.

Dr. Janet Yamamoto, a UF professor of immunology, co-discovered feline AIDS in 1986. She was also one of 23 women honored at UF’s 10th annual Celebration of Innovation Startup Showcase last month.

At the showcase, sponsored by UF’s Office of Technology Licensing, 111 were honored. Yamamoto won Inventor of the Year.

But the lack of women represented disappointed her, she said.

“They are now placing more females at administrative levels — however, it’s still not equal, including salary,” Yamamoto said.

John Byatt, the associate director of technology licensing, said about 300 people attended the showcase at the Hilton UF Conference Center hotel. He agreed female representation was low.

“It wasn’t a very high percentage, unfortunately,” he said.

Yamamoto said she was also the only woman inducted into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame last year.

But the immunologist, who has been working with cats for more than 30 years, said she’ll continue her research. The research costs her about $300,000 to do yearly, she said.

Yamamoto said her research can be applied to a vaccine for HIV. She said she predicts a vaccine will be developed within the next five or 10 years.