|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
Wednesday, September 6, 2000
International Team Accelerates Investigation of Immune-Related Genes
- finding more accurate DNA-based techniques to replace current methods for
identifying organ donor matches for transplantation;
- stimulating vaccine development by defining candidate vaccine targets in
- clarifying the role of HLA genes in susceptibility and resistance to
- developing standardized molecular tools to explore the genetic diversity
of the HLA gene complex.
Knowledge about the patterns of HLA gene combinations prevalent in different
ethnic groups also could illuminate the historical relationships among the
world's subpopulations. Theoretically, someday scientists could
custom-build vaccines based on HLA genes. Such vaccines could provide
better protection against diseases endemic to a group or geographic area,
such as malaria and the varying subtypes of the human immunodeficiency virus
(HIV) appearing in different parts of the world.
Participating with NIAID in funding the cooperative agreement with the IHWG
are several other NIH sponsors, including the National Cancer Institute, the
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the
National Human Genome Research Institute, and the National Center for
Biotechnology Information at the National Library of Medicine. Another
sponsor is the nonprofit Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International.
For details about IHWG research plans and workshop meetings, visit
NIAID is a component of the NIH. NIAID conducts and supports research to
understand basic immunology and to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious
diseases and immune-mediated disorders, including HIV disease and other
sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, malaria, autoimmune disorders,
asthma and allergies. NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and
Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available
on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.