Navigation Links
Gladstone to receive $5.6 million in federal funds to seek a cure for AIDS
Date:7/11/2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- July 11, 2011 -- The Gladstone Institutes will receive funds totaling $5.6 million over five years as part of the first-ever major funding initiative focusing on HIV eradication. The funds will help three principal investigators at Gladstone, an independent biomedical-research organization, to explore the molecular basis for HIV latency where the virus that causes AIDS "hides" dormant within cells waiting for an opportunity to reemerge when therapy is withdrawn.

"A critical factor to finding a cure for AIDS is to solve the problem of HIV latency," said Warner Greene, MD, PhD who leads all virology and immunology research at Gladstone. "If we can inhibit latency, then a cure for HIV-infected patients could be within our reach."

AIDS has killed more than 25 million people around the world since first being identified some 30 years ago. In the United States alone, more than one million people live with HIV/AIDS at an annual cost of $34 billion. Patients require lifelong treatment for AIDS because the HIV virus persists in a dormant and drug-insensitive form. Better understanding this latency, and developing new ways to attack it, could finally make it possible to cure HIV-infected patients.

The funding to cure this latency is part of the Martin Delaney Collaboratory a consortium among academia, government and private industry that the National Institutes of Health is funding and that Dr. Greene helped create. The National Institute of Mental Health also provided co-funding.

With these funds, Dr. Greene's laboratory will seek to identify previously unrecognized products in the cell that help maintain HIV latency ultimately working to develop inhibitors against these cellular proteins. Dr. Greene's laboratory also will analyze the action and targets of various regulatory molecules known as microRNAs that are present in latently infected CD4 T cells. Eric Verdin, MD, will study the potential role of the cell's chromatin-remodeling machines in the establishment and maintenance of HIV latency; while Melanie Ott, PhD, will examine the role of histone methylation in HIV latency and the effects of small-molecule inhibitors that block the action of various methyl transferases.

"If we can successfully eradicate latency, we might be able to avoid drug therapy altogether," said Dr. Verdin, who is a senior investigator at Gladstone.

At the same time, Dr. Greene warned, any eventual cures or functional cures can't begin to end the global AIDS epidemic unless they can be effectively used in those places where the virus is most rampant such as sub-Saharan Africa, where about two-thirds of all people afflicted with HIV/AIDS live.

"We must construct a therapy that is usable in both the developing and developed world," said Dr. Greene, who is also a professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

The $5.6 million that Gladstone is receiving is part of the $32 million that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded over five years to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. That money will be shared among 19 investigators, including those at Gladstone and at nine U.S. universities including UCSF, with which Gladstone is affiliated.

The UNC-led consortium will be one of three groups funded by NIAID under its Martin Delaney Collaboratory initiative. The UNC-led effort will undertake more than a dozen research projects to discover how the virus can remain dormant and virtually invisible, identify drugs and treatments capable of ridding the body of persistent infection and to evaluate these new strategies in relevant animal models followed by testing of the most promising candidates in humans.

The Collaboratory also includes an important industrial partner, Merck Research Laboratories of Whitehouse Station, N.J. Merck has a track record in the development of small-molecule drugs and other therapies that target viral reservoirs. While Merck Research Laboratories will not receive federal funds for their contribution to this research, they will provide core resources to the academic investigators.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mara Brazer
mara@brazercommunications.com
415-305-6677
Gladstone Institutes
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Gladstone scientists identify genes involved in embryonic heart development
2. Gladstone scientists uncover mechanism for the major genetic risk factor of Alzheimers disease
3. Gladstone scientists link hepatitis C virus infection to fat enzyme in liver cells
4. Gladstones Shinya Yamanaka wins Kyoto prize
5. Gladstone and Institute for Systems Biology collaborate on Huntingtons disease
6. Gladstones Shinya Yamanaka wins Lasker Award
7. Gladstone scientists identify key factors in heart cell creation
8. Gladstone scientists reveal key enzyme in fat absorption
9. Gladstone scientists reveal that fat synthesizing enzyme is key to healthy skin and hair
10. NJIT receives second part of $1M gift to chemical engineering department
11. Texas Parks Wildlife Commission member Karen Hixon to receive ESAs 2011 Regional Policy Award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/15/2016)... ALBANY, New York , March 15, 2016 ... a new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Digital ... Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2023," the global digital ... at US$ 731.9 Mn in 2014 and is forecast to ... to 2023. Growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... , March 11, 2016 ... new market research report "Image Recognition Market by Technology ... (Marketing and Advertising), by Deployment Type (On-Premises and Cloud), ... To 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is ... to USD 29.98 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... , March 9, 2016  Crossmatch ® , ... enrollment solutions, today announced the addition of smart ... Altus multi-factor authentication platform. New contextual and ... to step-up security where it,s needed most — ... Washington, DC . --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Shimadzu Scientific Instruments (SSI) will be showcasing ... Conference and Expo. Shimadzu’s high-performance instruments enable laboratories to test cannabis products for ... stop by booth 1021 to learn how Shimadzu’s instruments can help improve QA/QC ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Most consumers engage with biometrics ... for secure access, voice recognition for hands-free communication, and facial recognition to help ... biometrics technology today. But if they asked Joey Pritikin, Vice President of ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. ... UTHR ) announced today that Martine ... United Therapeutics will provide an overview and update on ... Annual Health Care Conference. The presentation ... 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and can be accessed via ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... NDA Partners Chairman ... company as an Expert Consultant. Mr. Clark was formerly a Vice President ... development of small molecule monographs based on analytical methods. NDA Partners Expert ...
Breaking Biology Technology: