Miller School Researchers Develop Promising Vaccine for Fighting the AIDS Virus
2.04.2014 - A research team at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has developed a vaccine that generates an immune system response strong enough to kill a model AIDS virus in mice. The vaccine marks a significant advance in HIV research and may lead to the development of additional new vaccines for influenza, malaria and cancer.
The research, conducted at the Miller School's Miami Center for AIDS Research, is being led by Geoffrey W. Stone, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology and immunology, and the results are published in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of Virology. The key finding is that the vaccine developed by Stone's team, when targeted to a unique receptor in the immune system, can generate unprecedented T cell responses to HIV. The receptor involved is called CD40, and the vaccine uses a special form of its natural binding protein, CD40 ligand (CD40L), to enable important immune cells called dendritic cells to detect the presence of HIV proteins.
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