GeoVax receives NIH-NIAID grant for HIV/AIDS vaccine program

March 15, 2016

The partnership complements URMC's strength in fundamental biomedical research; specifically, identifying molecular and genetic "targets" that trigger disease. Over the last five years, the University of Rochester has received more than $1.9 billion in external research funding - much of it focused in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular disease, neuromedicine, musculoskeletal disease, and immunology and infectious disease. The more recently established Moulder Center has already received over $10 million dollars in funding from private donations, federal grants, contract research and a recent Temple University Drug Discovery Research Initiative.

The agreement enables scientists at the two institutions to collaborate and move these discoveries to the next stage of research by identifying compounds that act upon these new targets and may ultimately form the basis for new therapeutics. URMC scientists will work with Moulder Center's medicinal chemistry and other drug development capabilities to rapidly screen large numbers of compounds to identify novel drug candidates that can undergo a battery of pre-clinical tests in the lab and in animal models necessary to ensure that they are stable, not toxic, and act as intended.

Some 30 URMC research projects have already been identified as potential candidates for this collaboration. These include novel approaches that could lead to new treatments for bacterial pathogens such as Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Acinetobacter baumannii, which are notorious for their ability to evade conventional drug treatments and are widely regarded as two of the most important bacterial threats to health. Other ongoing URMC research is aimed at developing treatments for fungal diseases caused by Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans, pathogens that affect premature infants, patients receiving cancer chemotherapy and organ transplants, and those living with HIV/AIDS.

Source: University of Rochester Medical Center