University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Awarded Grant for Research in HIV Prevention
January 13, 2003
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has been awarded nearly $8 million from the National Institutes of Health to research a potential barrier to HIV. "Currently women have no way to protect themselves except condoms, and women do not control condom use," said Sharon Hillier, principal investigator and professor of reproductive sciences, molecular genetics and biochemistry at UPMC. "We hope to have an effective microbicide that can protect women against HIV in the next seven to eight years." The research, which will be done at UPMC and its Magee-Women's Research Institute, focuses on UC781, a chemical substance capable of killing microorganisms, which was discovered by Michael Parniak, professor of medicine in UPMC's division of infectious diseases. UC781 renders HIV incapable of infecting cells. Investigators will study the safety and efficacy of UC781 for humans. Researchers will also conduct studies on a formulation of UC781 developed by project partner Biosyn Inc. The pharmaceutical manufacturer is evaluating several compounds as potential HIV barriers.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.