AmfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research in New York City has announced grants totaling $1.4 million to seven scientists for research focused on understanding why HIV persists in the body despite effective antiretroviral therapy.
Supported in part by the Foundation for AIDS and Immune Research, the grants are the most recent to be awarded under amfAR's $100 million Countdown to a Cure for AIDS initiative, which hopes to establish a scientific basis for a cure by 2020. Each grantee will receive $200,000 over two years to test novel research ideas supported by preliminary data.
The grant recipients are Celsa Spina of the University of California, San Diego ("Genomic locations of HIV proviruses responsive to latency reversing agents"); Andrés Finzi of the Université de Montréal, Centre de Recherche du CHUM ("Uncovering HIV-1 infected cells: a new path toward a cure"); Jonathan Karn of Case Western Reserve University ("Hormonal control of latent HIV proviruses"); Jonathan Karn of Case Western ("Quantitative HIV reservoir assay using bar-coded RNA'); Maud Mavigner of Emory University ("Optimized assays to measure the latent SIV reservoir in rhesus macaques on ART"); Mirko Paiardini of Emory ("Mechanisms and correlates of post-ART treatment control in SIV-infected macaques"); and James Stivers of Johns Hopkins University ("Discovery of tools to modify the fate of uracilated HIV DNA in macrophages").
"As we sharpen our focus on finding a cure for HIV, supporting new lines of inquiry remains a vital part of amfAR's overall strategy," said Rowena Johnston, amfAR's vice president and director of research. "The approaches our new grantees are using to crack some of the most challenging questions in cure research today truly deserve the moniker, 'innovation'. "