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URI awarded $13 million grant to develop vaccines for emerging infectious diseases
Date:7/28/2009

e creation of technologies and products that have commercial value, and second, through the creation of a highly-skilled workforce that is absolutely essential for our economic wellbeing. Through Dr. De Groot's leadership, URI will be recognized throughout the world for our scientific contributions in this area."

"I commend URI for their efforts to accelerate the development of safer, more efficient vaccines," added U.S. Senator Jack Reed, who supported De Groot's funding proposal. "This federal funding will boost critical vaccine research to help protect public health against emerging infectious diseases. It will also provide critically important educational opportunities to further expand Rhode Island's health care and biotech workforce."

The Institute for Immunology and Informatics, established earlier this year at URI's Providence Biotechnology Center, applies cutting edge bioinformatics tools to accelerate the development of treatments and cures for immune-system diseases like HIV and tuberculosis. The Institute also aims to quickly make these tools available to the global research community for the development of vaccines for tropical diseases and other infectious diseases.

De Groot has received national and international recognition for her innovative "genometovaccine" approach, and has been a vocal advocate for tiered pricing of globally-relevant HIV and TB vaccines. Esquire Magazine gave her a Genius Award in Science and Technology in 2003, and she was named Rhode Island Woman Physician of the Year by Women and Infants Hospital in 2006. She is the scientific founder of the Global Alliance to Immunize against AIDS (GAIA), and she and Martin declared that their GAIA HIV vaccine was a not-for-profit research program in 2001. Work on the development of the GAIA HIV vaccine trial site is ongoing in Mali, with the support of her GAIA Vaccine Foundation.


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Contact: Todd McLeish
tmcleish@uri.edu
401-874-7892
University of Rhode Island
Source:Eurekalert

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