The NIH’s National Institute for Drug Abuse, or NIDA, awarded three researchers $2.5 million each to support new approaches for preventing and treating HIV/AIDS.
The winners of the 2017 Avant-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS Research will receive $500,000 per year for 5 years, according to a news release. The awards are subject to the availability of funds, the NIH said.
“With nearly 37 million people living with HIV worldwide, it is essential that researchers continue to develop effective prevention and treatment strategies for those suffering from this devastating disease, including people with substance use disorders,” NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, MD, said in the release. “These scientists are pioneering exciting new approaches aimed at preventing and treating new cases of HIV and helping people at risk live longer, healthier lives.”
Michael Farzan, PhD, professor in the department of immunology and microbiology at the Scripps Research Institute’s Florida campus, was awarded for his proposal to use preclinical models to explore safe and effective gene therapies for the long-term prevention of HIV infection in high-risk populations, and to explore a safety switch for an effective HIV vaccine.
Peter S. Kim
Peter S. Kim, PhD, professor of biochemistry at Stanford University, proposed a strategy to alter the HIV-1 gp41 region to enhance testing of new therapeutics that could treat patients at higher risk of developing resistance to HIV drugs, including those with substance use disorders.
Eric M. Poeschla
Eric M. Poeschla, PhD, professor and chief of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Colorado Denver, will use animal and human cells to explore the use of viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase to enhance broad-spectrum immunity against viruses such as HIV-1, an approach that may also protect against viruses that infect people with addiction, according to the release.
NIH. NIDA announces recipients of 2017 Avant-Garde Awards for HIV/AIDS research. 2017. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nida-announces-recipients-2017-avant-garde-awards-hiv-aids-research. Accessed April 5, 2017.
*Images Courtesy of NIDA