University of Maryland scientists receive $23.4 million for AIDS vaccine research
Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland were given $23.4 million from a consortium headed by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in order to allow them to move ahead on their decades of work on an HIV/AIDS vaccine that is promising. This is their largest ever research gift.
The Institute of Human Virology from the university, led by Dr. Robert Gallo, was awarded the funds on Thursday, May 5. Gallo is known for his development of the blood test for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and for his assistance in the discovery of that virus, which is the cause of AIDS.
The research for the AIDS vaccine was started in 2002 at the IHV, where their experiments on monkeys have lead to significant breakthroughs.
The AIDS vaccine that is currently being researched would work to neutralize a number of different HIV strains. The trial vaccine’s antibodies adhere to common regions of the virus instead of aiming for the proteins that are always changing and could be different from one strain of HIV to the next.
The grants were announced by Gov. Martin O’Malley, who said “Today, we are on the verge on a major breakthrough in HIV/AIDS”.
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