There’s good news for researchers trying to find a cure for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) at Emory University. A research team at the school recently received a $23.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The money is to fast-track the research for an HIV cure or put the virus in permanent remission.
Emory’s Enterprise for Research and Advocacy to Stop and Eradicate HIV (Erase HIV) is one of the newly NIH-funded Martin Delaney Collaboratories for HIV Cure. They are also the only one researchers at a National Primate Research Center (NPRC) are leading. The team leaders are Deanna Kulpa, Ph.D., Mirko Paiardini, PhD, and Guido Silvestri, MD.
As part of their research, the team will characterize the key immune system functions that control persistent HIV infection and design innovative, immune-based therapies to eliminate or contain the virus in the absence of antiretroviral therapy (ART). According to Paiardini, an Emory School of Medicine (SOM) professor of Pathology and Laboratory Sciences, over 700,000 people have died in the U.S. since the first case of HIV/AIDS was reported in the United States.
He said that the work of the Martin Delaney Collaboratories would bring the researchers closer to a cure. Paiardini noted that HIV cure research is also important for increasing the overall understanding of the immune system. Kupla, another SOM professor, said that while antiretroviral therapy has been a lifesaver, the funding allows them to find a lasting solution.
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