NIAID creates HIV vaccine discovery branch

Jun 25, 2008

To accelerate the translation of basic discoveries about HIV into advances in vaccine design and evaluation, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has formed a new Vaccine Discovery Branch within the Vaccine Research Program in the Division of AIDS (DAIDS).

"There is broad scientific consensus that designing a safe and effective vaccine to prevent HIV infection will require enormous advances beyond present-day knowledge," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "The NIAID Vaccine Discovery Branch will help remove fundamental obstacles to achieving this goal by focusing intensively on the development and sharing of new knowledge critical to vaccine development."

The new branch is dedicated to monitoring scientific developments in multiple fields related to HIV vaccine discovery, building more bridges between basic researchers and HIV vaccine designers, identifying gaps in knowledge pertinent to a preventive HIV vaccine and promoting research to fill those gaps.

"Cross-fertilization of HIV/AIDS research with the fields of genetics, structural biology, systems biology and others could open up new perspectives on how to overcome major obstacles to HIV vaccine design," says DAIDS Director Carl W. Dieffenbach, Ph.D. "The Vaccine Discovery Branch will be in an ideal position to spot these opportunities, promote the translation of new knowledge about HIV and foster fruitful research collaborations."

In addition, the new branch will

  • Monitor vaccine discovery efforts and related basic HIV research within NIH, nationally and internationally

  • Determine funding priorities for vaccine discovery research

  • Plan, develop, implement and evaluate extramural grants and contracts to support the conduct of fundamental virology and immunology research as it relates to the discovery of novel AIDS vaccine concepts

  • Foster the development and supply of necessary research reagents and other resources

    The Vaccine Discovery Branch also will have chief oversight of the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI), a consortium of universities and academic medical centers established by NIAID to solve major problems in HIV vaccine development and design. A multidisciplinary group of scientists from across DAIDS will continue to participate in overseeing CHAVI.

    Jorge Flores, M.D., deputy director of the Vaccine Research Program, will serve as acting chief of the new branch until a national search results in the selection of a new chief. Dr. Flores has been involved in the conduct and administration of vaccine research at NIH since 1979.

    Source: NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

    Explore further: Indiana HIV outbreak, hepatitis C epidemic sparks US alert

  • Related Stories

    We must defend science if we want a prosperous future

    Mar 03, 2015

    Today's Australians are, by far, the best educated cohort in our history –- on paper, anyway -– but this is not reflected in the quality of our political discourse. We appear to be lacking in courage, ...

    Vaccines from a reactor

    Mar 02, 2015

    In the event of an impending global flu pandemic, vaccine production could quickly reach its limits, as flu vaccines are still largely produced in embryonated chicken eggs. Udo Reichl, Director at the Max ...

    Cool crystals and hot climates

    Jan 16, 2015

    A crystalline structure used by a silkworm virus to protect itself from the elements may provide similar protection for human vaccines in challenging tropical climates and remote regions.

    The year ahead in science

    Jan 05, 2015

    Some serious groundwork has been laid. Some amazing instruments are turning on. Some incredible destinations are in sight. If you ask us, 2015 is going to be an awesome year in science.

    Recommended for you

    Indiana HIV outbreak, hepatitis C epidemic sparks US alert

    Apr 24, 2015

    Federal health officials helping to contain an HIV outbreak in Indiana state issued an alert to health departments across the U.S. on Friday, urging them to take steps to identify and track HIV and hepatitis C cases in an ...

    Why are HIV survival rates lower in the Deep South than the rest of the US?

    Apr 22, 2015

    The Deep South region has become the epicenter of the US HIV epidemic. Despite having only 28% of the total US population, nine states in the Deep South account for nearly 40% of national HIV diagnoses. This region has the highest HIV diagnosis rates and the highest number of people living with HIV of any ...

    A bad buzz: Men with HIV need fewer drinks to feel effects

    Apr 20, 2015

    Researchers at Yale and the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System compared the number of drinks that men with HIV infection, versus those without it, needed to get a buzz. They found that HIV-infected men were more sensitive to ...

    User comments : 0

    Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

    Click here to reset your password.
    Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.