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October 22, 2008

Gates Foundation Funds Testing of Potential HIV Cure

Thanks to a new initiative to stimulate bold approaches to global health, University of Washington researcher Keith Jerome, MD, PhD, will have one year and $100,000 to prove that his proposed cure for HIV is effective, The Seattle Times reports.

According to the article, Dr. Jerome is working with a new class of proteins that he believes may recognize and cut the DNA sequences unique to HIV, rendering them inactive. Rather than targeting the HIV virus in the blood as drug treatments do, the protein would attack HIV in the chromosomes and disable the blueprints, making replication impossible.

The Gates Foundation has committed $100 million over five years for a program to test new approaches to combating diseases. This year, the foundation awarded 106 researchers such as Jerome the first Grand Challenges Explorations grants.

For Jerome, the Gates grant is only the beginning. “The pathway from an idea to something we can take to a clinic to help patients…that’s years,” he said.

Search: Gates Foundation, University of Washington, Keith Jerome, cure

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