A group of researchers at Emory University have been awarded a five-year $35.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study ways to prevent and cure HIV/AIDS, according to an announcement by the Atlanta-based university.

The research partnership hopes to develop an HIV vaccine and to refine existing “shock and kill” methods that try to eliminate the virus hiding in latent reservoirs.

According to the article, researchers looking into a vaccine hope to:

  • Extend the effective lifetime of protective antibodies using advanced adjuvants, which enhance the body’s immune response

  • Activate antiviral T cells in the mucosal tissues where the virus first enters the body

  • Stimulate the right balance of immune cells and CD4 T cells, which are potential targets for the virus.

“Generating a long-lasting protective antibody response at the site of HIV entry is key to stopping its transmission and is one objective of our new NIH-funded research program to develop new strategies for preventing and curing HIV/AIDS,” Rama Amara, PhD, co–principal investigator of the grant and a professor at Emory University School of Medicine, said in the article.