LA JOLLA (CNS) - The Scripps Research Institute announced Wednesday that a $77 million federal grant will fund a seven-year project to develop an HIV vaccine.
The grant was awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, part of the National Institutes of Health.
"With 33 million infected individuals worldwide, an HIV vaccine is urgently needed to slow and eventually eliminate new infections," said Scripps Research President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Marletta. "I am excited that the institute's proven track record in fundamental discoveries applicable to vaccine development will be brought to bear on this most important and compelling problem."
Scripps Research professor Dennis Burton said AIDS drugs have extended the life span of people afflicted with the disease, but a vaccine is necessary to truly eliminate the threat of infection.
HIV causes AIDS by binding to, entering, and ultimately killing immunity cells necessary to fight infections by common bacteria and other pathogens. As HIV depletes the body of those cells, the immune system fails and common afflictions become potentially lethal.
An effective HIV vaccine would introduce antibodies that would circulate through the blood to track down and bind to the virus, preventing infection of immune cells. Antibodies produced by the human body to fight HIV are ineffective, according to the institute.
Research at TSRI and elsewhere has found some rare antibodies that can fight the disease.
Cal Fire is at the scene of a wildfire burning off State Route 94 near Church Road in the Campo Indian Reservation.
A small plane crashed Saturday evening near the El Capitan Reservoir, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department confirmed.
Backers of an initiative that would allow San Diego State University to buy the SDCCU Stadium site in Mission Valley for campus expansion are scheduled to begin seeking petition signatures Saturday.
Friends and relatives of a couple whose bodies were found in Joshua Tree National Park say they believe the two got lost while hiking in the sprawling desert park and struggled in the searing heat with little food or water before they died in a "sympathetic murder-suicide."
Sunshine and higher temperatures are making the return to San Diego County Saturday after intermittent drizzle across the region on Friday.
President Donald Trump is portraying the Islamic State group's ouster from its Syrian stronghold as a milestone in the U.S. fight against terrorism and a step toward a political transition and lasting peace in Syria.
The San Diego Police Department announced Saturday that officers will step up pedestrian safety enforcement operations.
The San Diego Gulls allowed power-play and shorthanded goals in the first period and an empty-net goal in the third in a 4-2 loss to the Stockton Heat Friday night at Stockton.
Authorities asked the public Friday for help in identifying and tracking down a pair of thieves who have carried out a two-week series of bank robberies this month in the San Diego area.