News Release

Thursday, June 29, 2006

NIAID Announces Leadership for Newly Restructured HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Networks

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) today announced the clinical investigators and institutions that will lead NIAID’s newly restructured HIV/AIDS clinical trials networks in the search for safe and effective treatments and prevention strategies, including HIV vaccines. NIAID, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), supports the world’s largest portfolio of clinical HIV/AIDS research.

“The new network structure expands our clinical research capacity and strengthens our ability to take advantage of emerging scientific opportunities,” says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “By creating a more integrated, collaborative and flexible structure, we will be better equipped to meet evolving global AIDS research priorities.”

These leadership group awards represent the first step of the two-part restructuring process of the HIV/AIDS clinical trials networks. Awards for the Clinical Trials Units (CTUs), which will carry out the clinical research, are expected to be announced later this year.

Each leadership group will be led by a principal investigator and include a core operations group that will provide administrative and technical support; a statistical and data management center; and a network laboratory structure. The following principal investigators and institutions will lead the newly restructured HIV/AIDS networks:

AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG)
Constance A. Benson, M.D., University of California, San Diego

HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN)
Sten Vermund, M.D., Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, Nashville

HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN)
Lawrence Corey, M.D., The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle

International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT)
Jay Brooks Jackson, M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore

International Network for Strategic Initiatives in Global HIV Trials (INSIGHT)
James D. Neaton, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Microbicide Trials Network (MTN)
Sharon Hillier, Ph.D., Magee-Womens Research Institute, Pittsburgh

“With these investigators providing the required leadership, the new clinical trials networks are well poised to help us move the next generation of HIV/AIDS research forward,” says Dr. Fauci.

The six HIV/AIDS clinical research networks will focus their efforts on the highest priorities in clinical HIV/AIDS research. The leaders of each of the six new networks developed research plans detailing the specific clinical trials to be pursued during the next several years in one or more of the following areas:

  • Developing safe and effective HIV vaccines
  • Translating clinical research into new HIV/AIDS treatments
  • Optimizing clinical management of HIV/AIDS, including co-infections and other HIV-related conditions
  • Developing microbicides to prevent HIV acquisition and transmission
  • Creating strategies to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission
  • Developing new methods of HIV prevention

Total funding for both the network leadership and the CTUs is expected to reach $285 million during the first year of operation. Because the leadership awards represent the first of two sets of awards for the clinical trials networks, NIAID is issuing these awards with provisional funding. Final budgets will be determined once the CTUs are selected, funded and linked with a leadership group or groups to fully form the networks.

Planning for the network restructuring began in October 2001, following extensive consultations with researchers, clinicians, nurses, patient advocates and people living with or at risk for developing HIV/AIDS. The restructured networks will capitalize on earlier HIV/AIDS medical advances and better position NIAID and its clinical research collaborators to address evolving scientific challenges and the changing face of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The new network leadership groups will direct, coordinate and conduct NIAID-funded HIV/AIDS clinical research worldwide in close collaboration with one another, NIAID’s Division of AIDS, other partner NIH institutes as well as industry and non-governmental research organizations.

The other NIH institutes that plan to collaborate with one or more of the HIV/AIDS clinical trials networks are the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; the National Cancer Institute; the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research; the National Institute on Drug Abuse; the National Institute of Mental Health; the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; and the John E. Fogarty International Center.

News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at

For additional information about the clinical trials networks, see

NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health. NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria and illness from potential agents of bioterrorism. NIAID also supports research on basic immunology, transplantation and immune-related disorders, including autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergies.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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