The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine a five-year, $3.6 million grant to study AIDS.
The money will be used to establish a Developmental Center for AIDS research, the nineteenth center in the country but the first in Florida.
Florida is the state with the third-highest rate of adult HIV/AIDS cases in America, following New York and California, but has the second-highest number of pediatric cases, according to the Florida Department of Health.
The Bureau of HIV/AIDS estimates that 125,000 Floridians are living with HIV infection.
“The Miller School of Medicine has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS research and care since the earliest days of the AIDS epidemic,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, dean of the school of medicine, in a press release. “The new support from the NIH will help us further our mission, and build on what is already a highly regarded research and treatment program in the field of HIV infection and AIDS.”
The grant will fund research in vaccines and immune system response to drug treatments.
“The pathogenesis of HIV/AIDS is something we need to more fully understand,” said Savita Pahwa, the new center’s primary researcher, in a press release. “For example, if you do get infected, how do you keep the virus under control? And why are there so-called elite controllers, people whose disease does not progress at all? By bringing all of the HIV researchers together we can truly continue to move this field forward.”