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June 28, 2010

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NIAID WEB BULLETIN
NIH Solicits Public-Private Proposals for Research to Purge HIV Reservoirs
Program Named in Honor of AIDS Activist Martin Delaney


The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), both part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced a new research funding opportunity to design, develop and evaluate new strategies for curing HIV infection through partnerships among government, industry and academia. NIAID and NIMH will fund one or two grants with a total of $8.5 million per year for five years.

This request for applications (RFA), called “Martin Delaney Collaboratory: Towards an HIV-1 Cure,” is named in honor of influential AIDS activist Martin Delaney, who died of liver cancer in 2009. Mr. Delaney championed the concept of accelerating progress toward a cure for HIV infection through a public-private partnership in which the government contributes funding, regulatory oversight and coordination; industry contributes drug discovery, technology and expertise; and academia contributes innovative ideas and investigative capacity.

Although individuals infected with HIV may effectively control virus levels with antiretroviral therapy and maintain relatively good health, the virus is never fully eliminated from the cells and tissues it has infected. Researchers need to better understand where these reservoirs of HIV are located, how they are established and maintained, and how to eliminate them. The new collaboratory aims to do this by supporting basic and clinical research in four areas:

  1. Basic research designed to identify and characterize cellular HIV reservoirs in people treated with standard, effective antiretroviral medicines
  2. The development of assays that are physiologically relevant to a range of cell types that may harbor HIV or permit viral replication, even when an individual is taking effective antiretrovirals
  3. Screening of drug candidates that target latent or persistent HIV
  4. The development and initial testing of new agents or strategies designed to eradicate HIV.

NIAID and NIMH will accept applications to the Martin Delaney Collaboratory through November 4, 2010. For more information about the RFA, please see Martin Delaney Collaboratory: Towards an HIV-1 Cure (U19).

Media inquiries can be directed to the NIAID Office of Communications at 301-402-1663, niaidnews@niaid.nih.gov.

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The mission of the NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery and cure. For more information, visit the NIMH Web site at http://www.nimh.nih.gov.

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 June 28, 2010

Last Reviewed June 28, 2010