Navigation Links
Scripps Research Institute wins $77 million to develop AIDS vaccine center
Date:7/11/2012

LA JOLLA, CA The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded a grant expected to total more than $77 million from the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The new seven-year project will focus on developing a vaccine against HIV and the disease it causes, AIDS.

"With 33 million infected individuals worldwide, an HIV vaccine is urgently needed to slow and eventually eliminate new infections," said Scripps Research President and CEO Michael A. Marletta, PhD. "I am excited that the institute's proven track record in fundamental discoveries applicable to vaccine development will be brought to bear on this most important and compelling problem."

"Although AIDS drugs have extended the lives of many, an effective HIV vaccine could truly eliminate the threat of HIV in both developing and developed countries," said Scripps Research Professor Dennis Burton, PhD, a prominent HIV expert who will lead the new center. "We look forward to making significant progress toward this goal in the coming years."

The Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology & Immunogen Discovery (CHAVI-ID) will conduct multidisciplinary research into immune responses that prevent infection or control the virus in infected individuals. The team will also generate vaccine components to induce such immune responses and provide broad protection against HIV infection.

The CHAVI-ID award to Scripps Research was one of two in the nation. The other went to Duke University in Durham, NC.

A Scientific Challenge

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) by binding to, entering, and ultimately leading to the death of T helper cells, which are immune cells that are necessary to fight off infections by common bacteria and other pathogens. As HIV depletes the body of T helper cells, the immune system fails and common pathogens can become potentially lethal.

An effective HIV vaccine would induce antibodies (specialized immune system molecules) against the virus prior to exposure to the virus. These antibodies would circulate through the blood, and track down and bind to the virus, preventing infection of T helper or other cells.

Most of the antibodies that the body produces to fight HIV, however, are ineffective. The surface of the virus is cloaked with sugar molecules that prevent antibodies from slipping in and blocking the proteins the virus uses to latch onto a cell and infect it. To make matters more complicated, HIV is constantly mutating, so there are multiple HIV strains that antibodies elicited by any vaccine must be able to sense and destroy.

Nonetheless, rare, "broadly neutralizing antibodies" against HIV do exist, as scientists at Scripps Research and other institutions have shown.

Harnessing the Immune System

Under the auspices of the new grant, the team based at Scripps Research will conduct research on antibodies and B cells, the cells that make antibodies. This work will guide the development of immunogenssubstances that evoke an immune responsecapable of eliciting protective antibodies to HIV.

Additionally, the scientists will focus on studying CD4+ T cells in an attempt to harness these cells' direct antiviral activity, as well as their ability to help B cells produce antibodies.

"We will work toward an HIV vaccine based on a deep understanding of the critical attributes of immune responses that provide protection against AIDS viruses, through these two focused and highly integrated efforts," said Burton, who, in addition to his position at Scripps Research, is scientific director of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative's (IAVI) Neutralizing Antibody Center, based on the Scripps Research campus in La Jolla, CA, and program leader at The Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard University.

The initial award (grant number UM1AI100663-01) provides $11.1 million for the first year of the Scripps Research-based center.

In addition to Burton as director, the center's scientific leaders include: Rafi Ahmed of Emory University; Michel Nussenzweig of The Rockefeller University/Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Bruce Walker of The Ragon Institute; and Ian Wilson of Scripps Research. Other scientists working on the project include Dan Barouch of Beth Israel Medical Center; Shane Crotty of La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology; Adam Godzik of Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute; Daniel Kaufmann of the Ragon Institute; Julie McElrath of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Bali Pulendran and Guido Silvestri of Emory University; and Chris Scanlan of Oxford University; as well as Sal Butera, William Schief, and Richard Wyatt of Scripps Research.


'/>"/>
Contact: Mika Ono
mikaono@scripps.edu
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Scripps Research discoveries lead to newly approved drug for infant respiratory distress syndrome
2. Scripps Research Institute scientists find promising vaccine targets on hepatitis C virus
3. Scripps Research Institute Professor Gerald F. Joyce elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences
4. Scripps Research Institute scientists develop antidote for cocaine overdose
5. Scientist wins $3 million renewal of one of longest-running NIH grants to Scripps Research
6. Scripps research scientists find anticonvulsant drug helps marijuana smokers kick the habit
7. Scripps Florida scientist awarded $1.5 million to design therapeutics with new RNA approach
8. Scripps Florida scientists identify neurotranmitters that lead to forgetting
9. Plastic trash altering ocean habitats, Scripps study shows
10. Scripps Florida scientists awarded $8.4 million grant to develop new anti-smoking treatments
11. Esther B. OKeeffe Foundation gives $2 million to the Scripps Research Institute
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scripps Research Institute wins $77 million to develop AIDS vaccine center
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov. 30, 2016 Not many of us realize that we ... of recovery so we need to do it well. Inadequate sleep levels have been ... blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. Maybe now is the best ... that could help them to manage their sleep quality? ... ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... BOSTON , Nov. 29, 2016 BioDirection, ... rapid point-of-care products for the objective detection of concussion ... the company has successfully completed a meeting with the ... company,s Tbit™ blood test Pre-Submission Package. During the meeting ... Tbit™ system as a precursor to commencement of a ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... CANNES, France , November 29, 2016 Nearly ... Continue Reading ... ... System is part of an efficient Identity Management. (PRNewsFoto/DERMALOG Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG is Germany's largest Multi-Biometric ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016 Oxford Gene Technology ... NGS panel range with the launch of the SureSeq myPanel™ ... of variants in familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). The panel delivers single ... a single small panel and allows customisation by ,mix and ... exons for LDLR , P C ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Worcester, Mass (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... KbioBox genetic data bioInformatics portal. In response to client demand KbioBox developed a ... gene edit biodesign program. Both are accessible from KBioBox’s new website, https://www.kbiobox.com/ ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... Oculus as finalists in the World Technology Awards. uBiome is one of just ... received across all categories. , In addition to uBiome, companies nominated as finalists ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Soligenix, Inc. (OTCQB: ... company focused on developing and commercializing products to ... medical need, announced today the long-term follow-up data ... (dusquetide), a first-in-class Innate Defense Regulator (IDR), in ... and neck cancer patients undergoing chemoradiation therapy (CRT).  ...
Breaking Biology Technology: