National Institute of Health Grants UNC Researchers $23 Million to Cure HIV
The human immunodeficiency virus or HIV has no known cure, and has infected more than 35 million people in the world.
Untreated, the virus can cause the reduction of the body’s T cells, making the body more susceptible to other diseases and infection – and even cancer.
It can also lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS.
But now, the National Institute of Health has just given a university research group over $23 million to study and find a cure for HIV.
Will there be a colossal breakthrough this time?
The researchers are from the Collaboratory of AIDS Researchers for Eradication (CARE), which is housed in the University of Northern Carolina at Chapel Hill, and they are beyond grateful and ecstatic over having been chosen for the five-year grant after the highly competitive application process.
The university’s professor of Medicine, David Margolis, MD, said that they had put a lot of faith in their proposal being accepted for a number of reasons.
Their group had been working closely with Merck, an organization that aims to help people in treating and preventing diseases.
Also, they have cultivated a good and progressive partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which operates as a global healthcare company.
This collaboration between GSK and UNC-Chapel Hill resulted in Qura Therapeutics and a new HIV Cure center, which will both focus on research into the treatment of HIV.
Margolis, who is also the Principal Investigator of CARE, said that their innovative studies and work with powerful leaders like MacroGenics, Duke University’s Human Vaccine Institute, and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University have made UNC a prime choice for the NIH.
UNC – CARE
The university’s research group was first funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases department of the NIH in 2011.
It was the first major research program on HIV, and was named after and in honor of Martin Delaney, a leading specialist on HIV research and treatment.
CARE is taking an active approach in studying and treating HIV.
The group plans to “awaken” the sleeping virus in the body, and then boosting the immune system and training it to recognize and destroy the virus.
CARE has over 20 leading scientists working towards the eradication of HIV.
A World Without HIV
The University of North Carolina constantly exceeds expectations in providing innovative research in the field of medicine and healthcare.
In February 2014, the college was also awarded a grant from NIH of over $40 million for seven years.
The funding was given to the university for its clinical trials unit that would focus on achieving the five agendas of NIH concerning HIV/AIDS research.
UNC is not new to such research programs. In fact, the university has had funding for its clinical trials unit since 1987. Furthermore, the school has a HIV/AIDS program ranked in the country’s top 10.
The complexity of the nature of the virus means that many people are stigmatized and denied quick treatment, especially among the poor and marginalized.
UNC and NIH hope that with the additional funding, more discoveries can be made to find a cure and end the problem of HIV and AIDS.