Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology

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The Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI) is currently one of two implementation projects under the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, the other being the recently funded Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD) by grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  In July 2005, the NIAID awarded the CHAVI grant to a consortium of investigators from Duke University, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Oxford University, and the University of Alabama-Birmingham, led by Dr. Barton Haynes.

The CHAVI will test new vaccine strategies to overcome key immunological roadblocks in HIV vaccine design. These roadblocks include a lack of understanding of the correlates of protective immunity to HIV-1 and a lack of vectors and immunogens that can induce protective, durable immune responses at mucosal sites.  The CHAVI will study the transmitted virus, and the biological events that occur during transmission. The CHAVI will work to define protective innate and adaptive host defenses against HIV in humans and SIV in primates.

The overall goals of the CHAVI include:

  1. Determine the viral and immunological events and host genetic factors associated with HIV transmission, infection and (partial) containment of virus replication
  2. Develop novel HIV-1 vectors, immunogens and adjuvants that suppress viral replication and elicit persistent mucosal and/or systemic immune responses
  3. Use SIV infection in primates as a model for HIV infection in humans and determine the factors that lead to mucosal protection from SIV in primates
  4. Test novel HIV-1 vaccine candidates in phase I clinical trials