Possibly one-third of the passengers aboard the Malaysia Airlines flight 17 that was shot down Thursday over the Eastern Ukraine were top AIDS researchers.

Among the perished are World Health Organization advisor Glenn Thomas as well as research giant and lauded humanitarian Dr. Joep Lange and his wife, Jacqueline van Tongeren, who has been researching AIDS for three decades.

In an address to the nation on Friday, President Obama said they may have been en route to this weekend’s 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melborne. However, conference organizers have only been able to confirm seven names.

The airline hasn’t released a passenger manifest or confirmed the identifies of the victims.

Read more at The Washington Post.

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