- Number 323 |
- October 25, 2010
Los Alamos researcher on HIV vaccine trial team
Scanning electron micrograph
of HIV-1 virus budding (in
green) from cultured lymphocyte.
Researcher Bette Korber of DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory is part of an international team of investigators working to design and implement the first human trial of a mosaic HIV vaccine candidate. The vaccine represents a novel strategy for fighting the virus that causes AIDS by attempting to address one of the most daunting challenges in HIV vaccine design: the virus's extensive genetic diversity.
The team and its efforts are being led by Duke University Medical Center under consortium leader Dr. Barton Haynes, director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute and the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI). The newly formed research coalition has begun designing an early phase safety trial to assess mosaic vaccines in humans. The trial will test the mosaic concept and could lead to the next generation of HIV vaccine candidates.
Korber, a senior researcher in Los Alamos' Theoretical Division, led the team that developed the mosaic genes.
"HIV's diversity is vast, and the mosaic gene design represents a novel vaccine design to directly tackle HIV diversity in human clinical trials," said Korber. "Based on computational models, mosaic vaccines were predicted to perform better than natural HIV genes; experimental studies in animals, which directly compared mosaic to natural vaccines, supported that prediction. We are excited to test this concept in humans."The consortium includes many of the world's leading researchers and organizations committed to finding an effective vaccine to protect against HIV infection, including The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and its NIH-funded HIV Vaccine Trials Network, the IPPOX Foundation in Switzerland, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the NIH/NIAID Vaccine Research Center, Duke University and its Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Division of AIDS of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
[James E. Rickman, (505) 665-9203,