Gates Foundation Supports HIV Research by Alexandra Trkola

Zurich – Alexandra Trkola is leading a study investigating a new approach to HIV vaccines. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting the virologist’s research at the University of Zurich with 3 million dollars.

Alexandra Trkola, Professor of Medical Virology at the University of Zurich (UZH), has received a three-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to research a new approach to evaluating HIV vaccines, UZH announced in a press release. The virologist, together with her colleagues Huldrych Günthard from the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich, Nigel Garret from the South African AIDS research center CAPRISA, as well as her colleague Penny Moore from the South African University of the Witwatersrand and the NICD, leads the project "RENEW" conducting clinical studies in people with HIV." In this project, two harmonizing immunization studies are being conducted in Switzerland and South Africa to search for a safe and efficient method for conducting in-vitro tests with potential HIV vaccines.

As the project leader, Alexandra Trkola is admitted into the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery. The network of researchers funded by the Gates Foundation provides the project with an immunogenic protein and enhancing ingredients that trigger the immune response. The foundation is also providing 3 million dollars for the research.

The project builds on many years of research by Trkola and her group. The virologist has been researching HIV infection for decades. Her doctoral thesis was already dedicated to researching HIV antibodies. After conducting research at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York and holding an assistant professorship at Rockefeller University in New York, Trkola transferred to the University Hospital Zurich in 2000. Since 2008, she has been leading the Department of Medical Virology as a full professor at the University of Zurich (UZH). ce/hs

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