Propose a Consortium for HIV/AIDS Vaccine and Cure Research

Funding News Edition: June 02, 2021
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Through Consortium for Innovative HIV/AIDS Vaccine and Cure Research (UM1, Clinical Trial Not Allowed), NIAID will support a research program built around two integrated areas of scientific focus: identifying the correlates and mechanisms of protection of preventive vaccines and using vaccines or other immune modalities in advancing cure research.

The program will focus on preclinical studies in nonhuman primate (NHP) models to investigate the mechanisms by which efficacious AIDS vaccines protect NHPs from initial infection or establishment of systemic infection after virus exposure. Further, it will incorporate vaccines or other immune interventions into cure strategies in SIV or SHIV-infected NHPs with the objective of eliminating virus reservoirs or establishing elite control of virus replication. 

Preclinical research findings can inform HIV vaccines and cure strategies and further advancement toward evaluation in human clinical trials.

Research Objectives

The FOA centers on two key objectives:

  • Characterize vaccine-induced responses shown to reduce the rate of acquisition or prevent establishment of infection after mucosal challenge of NHP with SIV or SHIV to identify the correlates of protection and understand the underlying mechanisms of that protection.
  • Develop immunological interventions, including vaccines, immunotherapies, as well as combination strategies, with the goal of eliminating viral reservoirs (cure) or generating antiviral responses that control virus replication in the absence of antiretroviral drug therapy.

Applicants should take care to employ well-developed SIV/SHIV NHP models using a mucosal route of exposure for vaccine protection studies and models where the SIV/SHIV load can be fully suppressed with the proposed combination antiretroviral therapy regimen and rebounds after discontinuation for cure research.

Additionally, applicants should use state-of-the art, well-developed assays to quantify viral load and viral reservoirs and assess immune responses.

Application Requirements

Applications require well-developed management and operations support, an internal Executive Committee, and an external Scientific Advisory Board to provide the investigators regular assessments of research progress.

The two foci of the Research Program—vaccine research and cure research—should be collaborative and synergistic. You may include centralized research resources that provide coordinated services across the consortium, such as specialized assays, data management, or collection storage and sharing of samples and materials.

Note that all NHP facilities must be located in the United States and its territories, have AAALAC International accreditation, and comply with federal and NIH requirements.

Application budgets are not limited but must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. The maximum project period is five years.

The FOA has one submission deadline: August 4, 2021.

We strongly encourage you to contact Dr. Nancy Miller or Dr. Brigitte Sanders, NIAID’s scientific/research contacts, well before applying. Direct any review-related questions to Dr. John Pugh.

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