Doris Duke Charitable Foundation selects Emory HIV/AIDS research team for innovation award

ATLANTA--The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has chosen a team of scientists from Emory University School of Medicine as one of ten recipients of the 2003 Doris Duke Innovation in Clinical Research Awards. The awards will provide approximately $200,000 to investigators or teams to develop "Point-of-Care" diagnostics and therapeutic monitoring tools to care for AIDS patients in resource-poor areas of the world. The Emory investigators will collaborate with Ethiopian AIDS researchers to develop effective tests to monitor patients with HIV and AIDS by reconfiguring and simplifying commonly used tests to accommodate the circumstances and finances of resource-poor countries.

The effort to bring effective therapies for HIV and AIDS to developing countries has received growing support within the past few years; however, the efforts to lower the cost of drugs has had little impact on increasing the availability of, or lowering the cost of essential monitoring tests. As a result, the availability of these tests is exceedingly limited in developing countries where the vast majority of HIV-infected people live. The Emory research team will work with scientists at the Ethiopian Netherlands AIDS Research Project in Addis Ababa and with investigators at Addis Ababa University Faculty of Medicine to adapt technologies already in use in the United States to clinical conditions in Ethiopia, as well as to derive novel monitoring strategies that are designed to be more readily implemented in resource-poor countries.

"The standard of care for monitoring antiretroviral therapy in the U.S. is based on tracking CD4 T cell counts and conducting HIV viral load measurements," explains Frances Priddy, MD, assistant professor of medicine in Emory University School of Medicine and a co-investigator on the Emory grant. "Our Emory team will take the technologies already used for these tests and simplify and substantially reconfigure them for countries where resources are scar

Contact: Holly Korschun
Emory University Health Sciences Center

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