Barton Haynes, MD, a professor of medicine and director of the Human Vaccine Institute at Duke University and a pioneer in the fight against AIDS, will lead a new consortium’s efforts to resolve challenges in developing an HIV vaccine.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the National Institutes of Health, picked Haynes to lead the group.
NIAID has committed $15 million for the first year of the effort and could spend as much as $300 million over seven years. The consortium is titled Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology, or CHAVI.
“Making a vaccine for AIDS has turned out to be more difficult than we ever anticipated,” Haynes said in a statement. “With this award, our CHAVI team will work with the HIV research community in a new model that places great emphasis on coordination and synergy. Our goal is to conduct new research that overcomes current barriers to AIDS vaccine development and translate those findings into improved ideas and testing of new vaccine candidates.”
Haynes brings more than 15 years of experience in working with HIV, including work toward developing a vaccine, to the post. According to Duke, Haynes was the “first investigator at an academic institution in the US to develop a candidate HIV vaccine at the bench and to take it through the FDA into phase I human clinical trials.” He has worked at Duke for 25 years, serving as chief of the division of rheumatology, allergy and clinical immunology and chair of the department of medicine.
Haynes worked with Dani Bolognesi, who later helped found Trimeris, in some of the earliest research tod evelop drugs to fight AIDS. They and other Duke researchers helped create the AIDS drugs AZT and Fuzeon.
“Duke is honored to lead and coordinate this important program between universities and academic medical centers,” said Victor Dzau, chief executive officer of Duke University Health Systems. “This grant offers an unparalleled opportunity to perform innovative research that will lead to new design options for an HIV vaccine. With this intensive effort, we will make a substantial impact on global health.”
The CHAVI effort was established after being recommended as a step to fight AIDS by the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise.
Another Duke professor, David Goldstein, was named to lead one of five research efforts as part of the CHAVI project. Goldstein is director of the Center for Population Genomics and Pharmacogenetics at Duke’s Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy.
Also picked to be part of the program are Norman Letvin of Harvard Medical School; Joseph Sodroski of Harvard Medical School; George Shaw of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine; and Andrew McMichael of Oxford University, Oxford, UK.
CHAVI is described as a “virtual consortium” to assist in the collaboration of scientists from around the world.
For information about the new consortium, see: www2.niaid.nih.gov/newsroom/Releases/chaviqa.htm
For more information about the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, see: humanvaccine.duke.edu/modules/about/index.php?id=5