Dr. Jacques Normand:
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.