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  HIV-1 Tat:
  A NOVEL APPROACH TO VACCINATION
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  NATIONAL AIDS CENTER
The National AIDS Center (NAC) operates according to the following mission:
 
  • Coordinates studies on HIV/AIDS pathogenesis with translational research programs on HIV/AIDS prevention and therapy

  • Coordinates clinical testing of candidate HIV/AIDS vaccines

  • Builds up laboratory and clinical capacity of sites for clinical HIV vaccine testing in both the Developed and Developing Countries.
The NAC represents the natural evolution of the former Retrovirus Division of ISS. It has about 100 employees, including scientists, technicians and secretarial staff. The NAC houses ad hoc animal facilities for mice and monkeys. The Center has developed strong ties with national academic and research institutions through national (extramural) and international funding programs and scientific collaborations.
 
The NAC has also developed strong international ties. In 1998, the Italian and US governments (ISS and the US NIH) established a cooperative agreement for joint development of an HIV vaccine. This agreement was renewed in 2003. The NAC has also established collaborations with many centers in Europe and in Developing Countries including South Africa and Swaziland. These collaborations aim to build up the infrastructures and carry out field studies required for the testing of an HIV vaccine.

In January 2008 a major collaborative clinical and capacity building effort was launched in S. Africa with Euro 20 million funding support from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy (MAE) and in collaboration with the South African National Department of Health (DoH). Within the cooperation program between Italy and South Africa, Dr. Barbara Ensoli, Director of the National AIDS Center of the ISS, has been appointed Program Director for the conduction of the project aimed at supporting the local global response to HIV/AIDS through the development of an integrated intervention involving the strengthening and reinforcement of the South African healthcare system, the certification of a site for GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) production of vaccine preparations and the implementation of Phase II, preventative and therapeutic clinical trials with the Tat vaccine.
Key People
  • Dr. Barbara Ensoli, M.D., Ph.D.: Director

  • Dr. Paolo Monini, Ph.D.: Senior Science Advisor to the Director

Sections and Units
  • Pathogenesis of Retroviruses - Director: M. Federico, Ph.D.

  • Virus-Host Interaction (Immunology Core-Lab) - Director: P. Monini, Ph.D.

  • Experimental Retrovirology and Non-Human Primate Models (Virology Core Lab) - Director: F. Titti, Ph.D.

  • Clinical Trials (Immunology and virology Core-Lab) - Director (ad interim): B. Ensoli, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Retrovirus Infections in Developing Countries - Director: S. Buttò, Ph.D.
 

 

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