[Dr. Jacques Normand speaking] I’m Jacques Normand the Director of the AIDS
research program at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. We’re here today to release
the names of the three Avant-Garde awardees for
2014. The Avant-Garde program consists requesting applications for projects that are very novel
and innovative and I have a potential that having substantial public health impact.
The program is in its seventh year it started in 2008 with these new three awardees it brings
the total number to 18. Avante-Garde awardees consists of Heinrich Gottlinger from University
of Massachusetts Medical Center. The second awardee is Steven Waggoner from the Children
Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati. The third awardee is Melanie Ott from the Gladstone
Institute in San Francisco. All three projects are dealing with immune activity systems.
One of them is looking at cell-cell transmission and the role that two proteins and facilitating
cell to cell transmission. The second project is looking at vaccine trying
to boost the effectiveness of vaccines by increasing the production of broadly neutralizing
antibodies. The third project is looking at immune
aging as a result so this synergistic effect of drug abuse and HIV infection. The program
has been so successful that we created a new mechanism for specifically focusing on young
investigators that mimics the Avant-Garde and that new award has been issued in NIH
guide. Our web page at drug abuse dot gov forward slash AIDS provides description of
the Avant-Garde program in addition it also provides descriptions of the individual projects
that have been awarded over the course of the last seven years and also we have information
pertaining to the Avenir announcement which calls for similar applications but focusing
on young investigators.