The National Institutes of Health and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) are awarding 31 grants to U.S. and South African scientists to support research targeting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and HIV-related co-morbidities and cancers.
The awards, which total $8 million in first-year funding, are the first to be issued through the South Africa–U.S. Program for Collaborative Biomedical Research. The program, which was established in 2013 with funding from NIH and SAMRC, is designed to foster and expand basic, translational, behavioral and applied research to advance scientific discovery among U.S. and South African researchers working collaboratively in the areas of HIV/AIDS and TB.
The new awards will support research conducted at eight South African institutions and link scientists at these institutions with U.S. researchers at more than 20 U.S.-based research organizations, including the NIH.
“South Africa is a major partner in the fight to end both HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the NIH. “These new awards tap the scientific expertise of both of our countries in an effort to further key research in these disease areas. We are particularly gratified to work with the South African Medical Research Council given its history of visionary leadership and outstanding commitment to fostering biomedical research excellence and innovation.”
Newly funded research projects include:
- Timing of establishment of the HIV latent reservoir in subtype C infected women
- Analysis of National Lab Database to evaluate the HIV treatment rollout in South Africa
- Immune mediators associated with HPV clearance as predictors of HIV acquisition
- Pharmacometric optimization of second line drugs for MDR tuberculosis treatment
- Optimizing and operationalizing pediatric drug-resistant tuberculosis treatment
- Combination treatment for protection against HIV1 and pregnancy
- Screening for atherosclerotic vascular disease in HIV-infected children
- Using Information to Align Services and Link and Retain Men in the HIV Cascade
- Hormone induced mucosal susceptibility and HIV risk in South African adolescents
- Identifying sources of HIV infection in adolescent girls in rural South Africa
- Innovations in HIV testing to enhance care for young women and their partners
- Transmission risk behavior in a adolescents with perinatally-acquired HIV in South Africa
- Enhanced STI management to reduce genital inflammation and HIV risk
- Diversity of CD4+ Th subsets in TB immunity – Impact of HIV infection
- Integrin a4b7 as a predictor of HIV acquisition and pathogenesis
- Drug permeation and activity in Mycobacterium tuberculosis infected macrophages
- Fate of M. tuberculosis Antibiotic Survivors
- Combining Xpert and GIS to identify areas of high tuberculosis transmission
- Mechanisms of altered immune responses in HIV exposed infants
- Linking high-risk young women to HIV prevention and care for comorbid conditions
- Risk assessment of HIV infected to HIV infected transplantation in SA
- HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies: Harnessing ontogeny for immunogen design
- Inflammatory determinants of disease severity and treatment outcome in TB patients
Twelve of the awards will support two years of research; 19 awards will fund five-year collaborative projects. The list of initial 24 awards will be updated to include the seven remaining projects once they are awarded.
In addition to NIAID, other NIH Institutes and Centers participating in the South Africa–U.S. Program for Collaborative Biomedical Research include the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Fogarty International Center and the Office of AIDS Research. It is anticipated that NIH and SAMRC will solicit additional applications for the program in two years.