RUB-medical researchers want to trick the immune system
2.3 million Dollar funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
To support their research for a vaccine against the HI-Virus, Prof. Dr. Klaus Überla of the Faculty for Medicine at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and his research team will receive $2.3 million in funding within the next three years from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The scientists are part of the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD), which seeks to speed up the development of an HIV-vaccine through a rigorous exchange of information, methods and reagents. "The project rests upon our observation that certain immunological reactions seem to increase the risk of HIV-infection," Prof. Überla said. "We want to avoid these kinds of harmful immune system responses while still creating protective antibodies."
Earlier study: HIV-vaccine increases risk of infection
Prior attempts to develop vaccines against HIV have not been successful. The preparation that was used in the Merck Pharmacy's so-called STEP study actually increases HIV susceptibility. "It is extraordinarily important to understand why the vaccine has this effect," Überla said. "These findings could have an enormous impact on the development of future substances." By building on the findings of the STEP study, the research team plans to develop a new vaccine that will undergo in vivo testing.
T helper cells: HIV-proliferation vs. antibody production