“The award of this grant and the Center’s designation as an NIH CFAR after a highly competitive review and selection process is a tribute to our position as one of the leading AIDS research programs in the country,” says Dr. Harris Goldstein, director of the CFAR.
The many contributions that Einstein and Montefiore researchers and clinicians have made to date include:
• being among the first to describe AIDS in injection drug users and to demonstrate transmission by needle sharing and heterosexual intercourse;
• being the first in the world to identify pediatric AIDS as a distinct disease and to establish a day-care center for children with AIDS;
• identifying radioimmunotherapy (RIT) as a possible therapy for preventing or treating HIV infection;
• developing a vaccine to combat extremely drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB), which affects many AIDS patients in developing nations because of their impaired immune systems;
• establishing clinics and research programs in developing nations, such as Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Africa, India and Guatemala, to provide much-needed treatment, as well as education about prevention; and
• genetically engineering immune cells to redirect their infection-fighting ability toward killing HIV-infected cells, a strategy which could ultimately lead to an entirely new approach for combating AIDS and other viral diseases.