OHSU life science researcher Jonah Sacha, Ph.D. (photo courtesy of OHSU), recently received $1 million in new funding for HIV research. He will be leading a team of researchers who will be investigating the possibility of developing a new AIDS vaccine.
The grant was awarded by the Grand Challenges Explorations, a program initiated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It was created to fund new and unorthodox research possibilities that address pressing health and development problems. Chris Wilson, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation director of Translational Sciences and Global Health Discovery said the program aims to "provide additional funding for select grantees so that they can continue to advance their idea towards global impact.”
Sacha and his team will certainly be pursuing research with the potential for a global impact. They aim to develop an AIDS vaccine which will actually prevent the virus from infecting a new host. Instead of targeting the virus itself, the researchers hope to use an antibody-based approach to target a surrogate marker of HIV infection to prevent the transmission of the virus. This approach has been shown to have the possibility of success thanks to previous research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
(photo of HIV virus courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
The new direction being pioneered by OHSU researchers comes on the heels of several other important advancements in HIV research at OHSU, for example, the recent development of an antibody based therapy that could significantly slow the advancement of the disease (read the full story here). Jonah Sacha and his team will be working within the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute at OHSU.
If you are a life science researcher, or laboratory supply vendor in the Portland area plan on attending Biotechnology Calendar Inc.'s Portland BioResearch Product Faire trade show at OHSU on September 13, 2012. Our trade show events provide an excellent opportunity to network with life science professionals and learn about the latest in laboratory technologies in your field.