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Biomedical research supported by NIAID provides the tools necessary to develop diagnostic tests, new and improved treatments, vaccines, and other means to combat the microbial threats of today and tomorrow.

NIAID research activities include

  • Projects to sequence the whole or partial genomes of a variety of pathogenic microbes. These projects should help scientists understand how the organisms cause disease and identify new drugs and vaccines.
  • A broad malaria research program. This program is conducted by scientists at institutions throughout the United States and in several countries where malaria is endemic, and by scientists working in NIAID laboratories. NIAID and other parts of the National Institutes of Health also participate in the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria, a global group that boosts international collaboration among malaria scientists and identifies resources to enhance malaria research.
  • Research on the basic biology of influenza viruses and on efforts to find more effective vaccines and treatments for influenza.
  • Clinical trials involving several experimental HIV vaccines. Since 1987, NIAID scientists and grantees have conducted trials on more than 67 vaccine candidates and 18 types of adjuvants. Adjuvants are substances added to vaccines to improve the immune system response so that less vaccine is needed to provide protection. In 2009, a major NIAID-supported HIV vaccine study in Thailand revealed a candidate vaccine to be 31 percent effective at preventing HIV infection. This was the first time an HIV vaccine had shown any ability to prevent infection in people. NIAID continues to build upon scienfitic findings by both conducting basic research to better understand the virus and developing and testing promising HIV vaccine candidates.
  • Three research groups to learn more about emerging viruses. By learning how these viruses work, researchers hope to develop better ways to diagnose and treat the diseases they cause.
  • Research on the pathogenesis of bacterial and viral sexually transmitted infections and prevention strategies to control these infections.

Institute researchers work closely with other agencies, institutions, and scientists from across the United States and around the world to achieve the common goal of controlling and eliminating disease-causing microbes and infectious diseases.

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Last Updated November 02, 2010