National Institute of Allergy andInfectious Diseases (NIAID) http://www.niaid.nih.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 5, 1997
Acting on the recommendation of an expert advisory panel, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has unveiled a new grant program designed to speed the pace of AIDS vaccine discovery and development. Called the INNOVATION Grant Program for Approaches in HIV Vaccine Research, the new initiative will support research projects that may involve a high degree of innovation, risk and novelty, and that show clear promise for improving vaccine design or evaluation.
"This important initiative demonstrates our commitment to finding ways to prevent HIV infection and AIDS," says Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala. "While recent advances in treatment show that we are making real progress against HIV/AIDS, a vaccine remains our best hope for stopping this epidemic."
"This new grant program will enable us to rapidly exploit new scientific opportunities and broaden the base of scientific inquiry related to AIDS vaccine research," adds NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
Investigators with no HIV research experience are encouraged to apply for research support under the INNOVATION program. "INNOVATION will help bring creative ideas and new people into AIDS vaccine research," says David Baltimore, Ph.D., chair of the AIDS Vaccine Research Committee (AVRC), which endorsed the program at its first meeting on February 17. INNOVATION awards will be targeted at $150,000 per year in direct costs. The first phase of this pilot grant program encourages three areas of research:
The program represents the AVRC’s first action to help stimulate HIV vaccine research. The committee was created earlier this year after an external review panel called for improved coordination of National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported AIDS vaccine activities. The AVRC assists NIH in developing a comprehensive research program aimed at expediting the discovery and development of a safe and effective AIDS vaccine. It is also responsible for advising the HIV/AIDS vaccine research program at NIH about scientific opportunities, gaps in knowledge, and future directions of HIV/AIDS vaccine research. In addition to Dr. Baltimore, a professor of molecular biology and immunology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, members of the committee include:
Barry Bloom, M.D.Howard Hughes Medical InstituteAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronx, N.Y.
Robert Couch, M.D.Baylor College of MedicineHouston, Texas
Beatrice Hahn, M.D.University of Alabamaat BirminghamBirmingham, Ala.
Peter Kim, Ph.D.Howard Hughes Medical InstituteWhitehead InstituteCambridge, Mass.
Norman Letvin, M.D.Harvard Medical SchoolBeth Israel DeaconessMedical CenterBoston, Mass.
Daniel Littman, M.D., Ph.D.Howard Hughes Medical InstituteSkirball Institute of BiomolecularMedicineNew York University Medical CenterNew York, N.Y.
Neal Nathanson, M.D.University of PennsylvaniaMedical CenterPhiladelphia, Pa.
Douglas Richman, M.D.University of California at San DiegoLa Jolla, Calif.
William SnowSan Francisco, Calif.
Irving Weisman, M.D.Stanford University School ofMedicineStanford, Calif.
An announcement requesting applications under the new program will be released March 7 in the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts. Applications will be due on or before May 23, 1997. For more information about the INNOVATION Grant Program contact Dr. Carole Heilman, associate director for scientific program development, Division of AIDS, NIAID.
NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of
infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News
releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at www.niaid.nih.gov.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research,
and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
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Last Updated March 05, 1997