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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
21-Aug-2012

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Contact: Tasheema Prince
princeta@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
@NIAIDNews

NIH awards $7.8 million for innovative HIV vaccine approaches

14 grantees to focus on basic vaccine discovery research

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded 14 grants totaling $7.8 million in first-year funding for basic research to identify new approaches for designing a safe and effective HIV vaccine. The grants were awarded under the Innovation for HIV Vaccine Discovery (IHVD) initiative, which is expected to receive up to $34.8 million over the next four years.

"Recent discoveries about the basic biology of HIV and how the virus adapts to its host have provided useful information and new opportunities to guide vaccine development," said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "These grants are designed to build on that information and stimulate discovery of new ways to design a robust vaccine that prevents acquisition and establishment of latent infection."

The 14 IHVD grant recipient organizations include:

Altravax Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.)
Principal Investigator: Robert Whalen, DSc.
Project title: Germline-Specific Immunogens for the Induction of Neutralizing Antibodies to HIV-1.
The initial award, supported by grant number 1R01AI10270601, is for $597,816 for fiscal year 2012.

Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.)
Principal Investigator: Venigalla Rao, Ph.D.
Project title: Potent Phage T4-Derived V2 Immunogens as HIV Vaccines.
The initial award, supported by grant number 1R01AI10272501, is for $413,787 for fiscal year 2012.

Dartmouth College (Hanover, N.H.)
Principal Investigator: Margaret Ackerman, Ph.D.
Project title: Applying High-Performance Protein Engineering Tools to HIV Immunogen Design.
The initial award, supported by grant number 1R01AI10269101, is for $479,437 for fiscal year 2012.

Duke University (Durham, N.C.)
Principal Investigator: Herman Staats, Ph.D.
Project title: Mucosal Vaccination to Protect Against HIV-1 Infection at Mucosal Sites.
The initial award, supported by grant number 1R01AI10274701, is for $492,072 for fiscal year 2012.

Harvard Medical School (Boston)
Principal Investigator: Amitinder Kaur, M.D.
Project title: Natural Killer T Cells as Modulators of AIDS Vaccine Efficacy.
The initial award, supported by grant number 1R01AI10269301, is for $846,896 for fiscal year 2012.

Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston)
Principal Investigator: Galit Alter, Ph.D.
Project title: Tuning Fc-Effector Functions of HIV-Specific Antibodies.
The initial award, supported by grant number 1R01AI10266001, is for $609,875 for fiscal year 2012.

NYU Langone Medical Center (New York City)
Principal Investigator: Catarina Hioe, Ph.D.
Project title: Contributions of Anti-V2 Antibodies in Protection Against HIV.
The initial award, supported by grant number 1R01AI10274001, is for $579,543 for fiscal year 2012.

University of California (Irvine)
Principal Investigator: Donald Forthal, M.D.
Project title: The Impact of Antibody and pH on Female-to-Male SIV Infection.
The initial award, supported by grant number 1R01AI10271501, is for $718,324 for fiscal year 2012.

University of Maryland (Baltimore)
Principal Investigator: Charles Pauza, Ph.D.
Project title: Neonatal Fc-Receptor-Targeted Mucosal HIV Vaccine.
The initial award, supported by grant number 1R01AI10268001, is for $779,175 for fiscal year 2012.

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (Newark)
Principal Investigator: Abraham Pinter, Ph.D.
Project title: Optimizing Protective Vaccine Targets in the V1/V2 Domain of HIV-1 gp120.
The initial award, supported by grant number 1R01AI10271801, is for $566,739 for fiscal year 2012.

University of Minnesota (Minneapolis)
Principal Investigator: Ashley Haase, M.D.
Project title: Vaccine Design to Concentrate Protective Antibodies at the Mucosal Border.
The initial award, supported by grant number 1R01AI10262501, is for $843,856 for fiscal year 2012.

University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)
Principal Investigator: Nikolay Dokholyan, Ph.D.
Project title: Immunogen Design to Target Carbohydrate-Occluded Epitopes on the HIV envelope.
The initial award, supported by grant number 1R01AI10273201, is for $514,331 for fiscal year 2012.

University of Rochester (Rochester, N.Y.)
Principal Investigator: Mark Dumont, Ph.D.
Project title: Yeast Genetic Approach to Enhance the Immunogenicity of HIV Envelope Glycoprotein.
The initial award, supported by grant number 1R01AI10273001, is for $386,250 for fiscal year 2012.

University of Texas at El Paso
Principal Investigator: June Kan-Mitchell, Ph.D.
Project title: Effector and Regulatory Activities of HLA-E-restricted HIV-specific CD8 T Cells.
The initial award, supported by grant number 1R01AI10266301, is for $531,600 for fiscal year 2012.

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NIAID conducts and supports research- at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide- to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

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