amfAR Awards More Than $800,000 in New Research Grants
Grants Include Novel Vaccine and Treatment Studies
Contact: Jay Blotcher, Director of Media Relations
New York City -- The American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) today announced that it is awarding $819,902 in research grants to 12 investigators.
"Despite much tangible progress in the treatment of AIDS during 1996, the AIDS crisis is not over, and research must continue vigorously," said Dr. Mathilde Krim, Founding Co-Chair and Chairman of the Board of amfAR.
"How best to suppress HIV infection and prevent its ravages, how to treat or prevent opportunistic diseases, and, very importantly, how to create a vaccine for protective immunization against HIV all are questions that urgently need answers. With its latest cycle of grants, amfAR addresses such questions."
These awards consist of ten Basic Research Grants, three of which are renewals. The grant recipients are:
Burt Anderson, Ph.D., University of South Florida, $55,608, to study bacillary angiomatosis, a rare but potentially fatal skin infection in people with AIDS that can be confused with Kaposi's sarcoma.
Salvatore J. Arrigo, Ph.D., Medical University of South Carolina, $60,000, to create a novel method by which to inhibit the HIV enzyme, protease.
Baek Kim, Ph.D., University of Washington, $59,894, to study the way in which HIV mutates so that a strain of the virus, useful for vaccine research, can be developed.
JoAnne L. Flynn, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, $60,000, to continue studying the effect of the immune-system factor, IL-12, on Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Dr. Flynn has already shown that IL-12 effectively controls M. tuberculosis in newly-infected mice.
Eric Hunter, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham, $60,000, to develop a gene-therapy treatment for HIV infection that will prevent the virus from fusing with host cells, thus interfering with its capacity to infect.
Colleen B. Jonsson, Ph.D., New Mexico State University, $60,000, to study antiviral drugs that disable the essential HIV enzyme, integrase.
Louis V. Kirchhoff, M.D., M.P.H., University of Iowa, $60,000, to develop a vaccine from "naked DNA" to combat Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, the most common life-threatening opportunistic infection in people with HIV/AIDS.
Lucy Rasmussen, Sc.D., Stanford University School of Medicine, $60,000, to develop methods for the early identification and treatment of patients with impending CMV retinitis (an HIV-related illness that can lead to blindness) by measuring the amount of cytomegalovirus (CMV) in white blood cells.
Silvija Staprans, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco, $60,000, to study the effect that measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) immunization has on the immune systems of HIV-positive children. The vaccination can temporarily increase the amount of HIV in the children's blood.
Christine A. Wanke, M.D., New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston, $60,000, to develop interventions for HIV-associated diarrhea and wasting by studying the effect of the HIV tat protein that damages intestinal cells in humans.
amfAR is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to the support of AIDS research (both basic biomedical and clinical research), AIDS prevention, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested $83 million in grants to 1,700 projects.
This article was provided by amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. Visit amfAR's website to find out more about their activities and publications.