Awarded through the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery initiative, which was launched by the Gates Foundation in 2006, the funds will enable researchers at Emory to optimize technology that uses nanoparticles with the ability to mimic viruses to provide immune protection against the HIV virus in non-human primates. Led by principal investigator Bali Pulendran and co-principal investigator Rafi Ahmed, the team eventually hopes to develop an HIV vaccine that provides optimally effective and long-lasting protection against HIV.
"An intriguing aspect of the data from the recent vaccine clinical trial in Thailand, RV144, was that although it resulted in a modest reduction in infection compared with placebo, protective immunity diminished over time," said Pulendran. "This underscores the importance of generating durable antibody responses. We believe our approach is particularly well-suited to this challenge."