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Division of AIDS


The Division of AIDS (DAIDS) supports research on the pathogenesis, natural history, and transmission of HIV and HIV disease, and promotes progress in its detection, treatment, and prevention.

Director: Dr. Carl Dieffenbach



Basic Sciences Program

Supports basic and applied research on the causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of HIV and AIDS.

Director: Dr. Susan Plaeger



A. Epidemiology Branch. Population-based research and modeling studies of HIV transmission and associated biological and behavioral factors. Also, the treated and natural history of HIV, including research on immunology, virology, therapy and other issues surrounding care, and other co-morbidities, their interactions and impact on clinical outcome.

Contact: Joana Roe



B. Pathogenesis Branch. Molecular and cellular biology, virology, and immunology of virus-host interactions and mechanisms of immunopathogenesis and HIV transmission. Identification and characterization of host and viral factors that impact viral transmission, host restriction, pathogenesis and latency. Characterization of potential targets for discovery or design of novel therapeutic strategies. Innovative approaches for monitoring or studying viral infection, pathogenesis and latency.

Contact: Dr. Karl Salzwedel



C. Targeted Interventions Branch. Research areas: (1) targeted therapeutics emphasizing under-explored viral and cellular targets; (2) innovative therapeutic strategies including immune-based and gene-based therapies and therapeutic vaccines; (3) translational research for effective therapeutics spanning preclinical discovery through IND-enabling studies; (4) animal models for evaluating new therapeutic entities, regimens, and strategies; and (5) therapeutic approaches using nanotechnology.

Contact: Dr. Roger Miller



Vaccine Research Program

Supports the development of vaccines to prevent AIDS.

Director: Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Johnston



A. Vaccine Clinical Research and Development Branch. Research areas: (1) coordination of phase I, II, and III domestic and international clinical trials of candidate AIDS vaccines; (2) coordination of the characterization of immune responses in HIV-infected and uninfected immunized volunteers, using micro and macro assays; and (3) coordination of studies to identify, validate, and standardize immunologic and virologic markers for monitoring response of participants in vaccine clinical trials.

Contact: Dr. Jim Lane



B. Preclinical Research and Development Branch. Support of applied preclinical development of candidate AIDS vaccines, delivery methods and novel vaccine vectors, and adjuvants for the prevention of AIDS; promotion and evaluation of safety and efficacy of the prevention modalities, especially novel vaccine concepts identified in preclinical models including trials in non-human primates; genetic and immunologic variation; and mucosal immunity in SIV, HIV, and SHIV models.

Contact: Dr. Yen Li



C. Vaccine Discovery Branch. Research on: 1) identification of optimal antigens for HIV vaccine design (e.g., epitope mapping, epitope dominance, etc.); 2) identification of cellular components or novel antigens created by env-host interactions as vaccine targets; 3) development of innovative small animal models and in vitro systems to assess immune responses to vaccines; and 4) novel innate and mucosal immune pathways, adjuvants and immunomodulators to improve vaccine responses.

Contact: Dr. Geetha Bansal



Therapeutics Research Program

Develops and oversees research and development of therapies for HIV disease, including complications, co-infections, co-morbidities and cancers, in adults, infants, children, and adolescents.

Acting Director: Dr. Carla Pettinelli



A. Drug Development and Clinical Sciences Branch. Discovery and preclinical development of experimental therapies for HIV, TB and other infectious diseases; maintenance of a database of potential anti-HIV and anti-opportunistic infection compounds; immunologic, virologic, and pharmacologic research related to the design and conduct of clinical trials.

Chief: Dr. Mike Ussery



B. HIV Research Branch. Clinical research of strategies to treat adult primary HIV infection and complications; strategies to augment HIV immune responses and general host immunity.

Contact: Daniella Livnat



C. Complications & Co-Infections Research Branch. Preclinical and clinical research to develop new or improved therapies for the treatment and prophylaxis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, Mycobacterium avium disease, and cryptococcosis. Evaluation of diagnostics of or agents for treatment or prevention of hepatitis B or hepatitis C secondary to HIV infection in adults.

Contact : Dr. Chris Lambros



D. International Maternal, Adolescent and Pediatric Medicine Branch. HIV therapies in children and adolescents. Strategies to reduce transmission from mother to infant or fetus.

Chief: Dr. Ed Handelsman



E. Prevention Sciences Program. Conduct basic research on mechanisms of HIV transmission supportive of new biomedical strategies for interrupting transmission. Conduct of domestic and international phase I, II, and III clinical trials to evaluate HIV/AIDS prevention strategies, including microbicides, chemoprophylactic agents, and other biomedical and behavioral risk reduction interventions.

Acting Director: Sheryl Zwerski, MSN, CRNP



F. Microbicide Research Branch. Basic research on mechanisms of HIV transmission leading to new biomedical strategies for interrupting transmission. Translational research on microbicides, spanning discovery and preclinical through pilot human clinical research. Pilot clinical studies of the performance of microbicide vehicles with regard to coverage of and persistence on mucosal surfaces, potential biomarkers of safety, behavioral acceptability, and new technology to evaluate safety.

Dr. Roberta Black

Chief Topical Microbicide Research Branch



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