Emory gets $6 million toward vaccine research

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If Emory’s HIV/AIDS vaccine researchers weren’t PC people before, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation just motivated any random Macs to be thrown out of university windows. $6 million will do that.

We jest. About the computers anyway. The foundation did just approve a three-year, $6 million grant to aide the university’s already well-funded efforts to find a vaccine to eradicate new HIV cases once and for all. And for those of you paying close attention, that’s in addition to the $7 million boon the university got from the federal National Institutes of Health in July.

Like that money, though, the new grant is just a portion of a multi-disciplinary effort at several institutions. That was the CHAVI-ID initiative. This time, the cash goes to Emory’s part in the similarly named but totally different Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD). It’s a network of scientists and experts around the world dedicated to designing a variety of novel HIV vaccine candidates and advancing the most promising candidates to clinical trials.

The newfound money will be overseen at Emory by Bali Pulendran. He will lead teams from Emory’s Yerkes National Primate Research Center and the Emory Vaccine Center in furthering his development of nanoparticles that mimic viruses and are covered by molecules that activate protective anti-bodies against HIV.

“This underscores the importance of generating durable antibody responses,” Pulendran says. “We believe our approach is particularly well-suited to this challenge.”

That’s as science-y as we’re willing to go. Translation: Emory remains at the forefront of HIV vaccine research, its scientists are working on yet another international A-Team, and science is cool. Microbiology literate gays can get the jargon-laden explanation here.


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