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UMass Medical School researchers awarded pediatric HIV vaccine development grant
Date:4/23/2008

WORCESTER, Mass.The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), a world leader in the fight against pediatric AIDS, announced that it will award five grants totaling $1 million to researchers to support the development of a pediatric HIV vaccine.

Shan Lu, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), and colleague Katherine Ruiz De Luzuriaga, MD, professor of pediatrics and director of the division of pediatric immunology, are among the first five recipient teams to receive a Pediatric HIV Vaccine Research Program grant. The UMMS team was chosen from 46 teams that competed for the grants; other awardees include researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital; Childrens Hospital Los Angeles; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; and the University of Colorado Health Science Center.

The EGPAF Pediatric HIV Vaccine Research Program supports basic and pre-clinical research relevant to pediatric HIV vaccine design and development. The program was created after a survey of global HIV vaccine projects found that pediatric issues were virtually absent in the research agenda. With a global network of scientists and a long history of supporting pediatric-focused basic research, the Foundation is well positioned to address this gap.

One potentially promising way to reduce the spread of HIV is through a preventive vaccine that will protect all peopleincluding infantsfrom the virus. Vaccines have reduced many common childhood infections by up to 99 percent in the developed world, and may be the single, most effective public health measure. A vaccine that protects infants against HIV transmission through breast-feeding could set the stage for lifetime immunity. If a vaccine succeeds, millions of children could get life-long protection and be part of the first HIV-free generation.

Our awardees are remarkably talented scientists, and their projects will provide critical data that may le
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Contact: Office of Public Affairs
508-856-2000
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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