Canada's HIV vaccine researchers ready to roll out their findings at AIDS Vaccine 2013

International conference in Barcelona attracts world-class research from Canada

WINNIPEG, Oct. 7, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadian researchers will deliver some 24 presentations in Barcelona, Spain this week during AIDS Vaccine 2013 - the largest and most diverse international conference of researchers, advocates, clinicians, private sector partners and public health experts working collaboratively to advance HIV vaccine discovery.

Canadian researchers, including many new investigators, will come from across the nation to present their findings on HIV vaccine related subjects, such as mucosal immunity, dendritic cell-based immunotherapy, and DNA vaccines. Among the researchers are five AIDS Vaccine 2013 conference scholarship recipients.

"We are pleased to see so many new and early career investigators from Canada participating in AIDS Vaccine 2013," says Greg Hammond, director of the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative (CHVI) Research and Development Alliance Coordinating Office (ACO). "Supporting Canadian researchers and the AIDS Vaccine Conferences are some of the key functions of the CHVI, which was established by the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The CHVI is also focused on building and facilitating national and international collaborations through a network called the CHVI Research and Development Alliance."

"We have some great new investigators in training, and they are among our strengths in the Canadian research community," says Simon Fraser University Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair Mark Brockman, who is a principal investigator funded through the CHVI.

Brockman says it is important for graduate and post-doctoral students to attend conferences like AIDS Vaccine 2013 so they can build international linkages early in their careers. "Networking should be ongoing for graduate and postdoctoral students as it can result in strong ties for the future. Large, international collaborative teams make sense in HIV vaccine research because developing an effective vaccine will require knowledge and skills beyond one group."

Brockman's own research has for many years hinged on building international, cross-disciplinary collaborative teams from Canada and Africa. "A lot of Canadian groups are well positioned in Africa, with research teams in Kenya, Uganda, Botswana, and South Africa to name a few."

With over 65 projects funded through the CHVI since its inception in 2007, 18 involve African collaborations where Canadian-based researchers work closely with peers in Africa.

"Canada's strengths are in its international collaborations," Hammond says. "We are well poised to make an important contribution to advancing HIV vaccines and the next generation of researchers are crucial to that endeavour."

The CHVI is a five-year collaborative initiative between the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and represents a significant Canadian contribution to global efforts to develop a safe, effective, affordable and globally accessible HIV vaccine. The ACO was established by the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2011 at the International Centre for Infectious Diseases (ICID), a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The ACO is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

SOURCE: Alliance Coordinating Office

For further information:

Renée Barclay,
Communications Specialist, Alliance Coordinating Office
International Centre for Infectious Diseases

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Alliance Coordinating Office

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