Novel Vaccine Approach Achieves “Functional Cure” of AIDS Virus in Monkeys

Jeff Lifson, Brandon Keele, Jacob Estes, and Michael Piatak

From left: Jeff Lifson, M.D., director of the AIDS and Cancer Virus Program; Brandon Keele, Ph.D., head, Viral Evolution Core; Jacob Estes, Ph.D., head, Tissue Analysis Core; and Michael Piatak, Jr., Ph.D., head, Quantitative Molecular Diagnostics Core. This group collaborated with scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University to advance the line of research culminating in the Nature publication describing a novel vaccine approach that achieved a function cure of the AIDS virus in monkeys

By Frank Blanchard, Staff Writer, and Jeff Lifson, Guest Writer

Scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University and the AIDS and Cancer Virus Program of the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research have used a novel vaccine approach to achieve a “functional cure” and apparent eradication of infection with a monkey version of the AIDS virus.

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New Approach for Producing and Purifying IL-15 Heterodimers That Have Potent Immune Effect

Elena Chertova and Cristina Bergamaschi

From left: Elena Chertova, Ph.D., head, Retroviral Protein Chemistry Core, AIDS and Cancer Virus Program, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, and Cristina Bergamaschi, Ph.D., staff scientist, Human Retrovirus Pathogenesis Section, Vaccine Branch, Center for Cancer Research

Platinum Highlight IconBy Nancy Parrish, Staff Writer

Cytokines are proteins that play a crucial role in the human immune system by delivering messages that trigger the activation of immune cells to fight off attacks from viruses or other invaders.

Cristina Bergamaschi, Ph.D., NCI Center for Cancer Research, has been studying the mechanism of expression and function of a cytokine known as interleukin-15 (IL-15) for the last five years, in collaboration with Elena Chertova, Ph.D., and other researchers in the Retroviral Protein Chemistry Core (RPCC) of the AIDS and Cancer Virus Program (ACVP), Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research.

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Is This Your Year to Inspire a Child?

Gary Krauss working with elementary school students

Working with elementary school students is rewarding to Gary Krauss, senior subcontracts specialist, Contracts and Acquisitions, because he can demonstrate that there are lots of career paths in science. Shown here with Myersville Elementary School fifth-graders, Krauss said, “I was never a science major and I let the kids know you don’t always have to work in a lab or wear a lab coat to contribute towards finding a cure for cancer. There are other administrative support roles that are crucial to the success of the team.”

By Julie Hartman, Guest Writer

The Elementary Outreach Program (EOP) is looking for volunteers for the 2013–2014 school year.

This program is designed to bring science into the classrooms of Frederick County students in grades 1 through 5. You’ll have a chance to work with small groups of children, presenting hands-on lessons that are coordinated with the school curriculum.

Volunteer teams in each grade are scheduled to visit four schools in Frederick County this year.

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Before You Collaborate, You Should Partner with NCI TTC

NCI Technology Transfer Center staff

NCI Technology Transfer Center (TTC) staff (Frederick). Center: Tom Stackhouse, Ph.D., associate director; surrounded by (left to right) Rose Freel, Jasmine Yang, Heidi Bowman, Kevin Brand, Chris Sappington, Jeff Thomas, Mike Currens, Joseph Miles, Kathy Higinbotham, Donna Bialozor, and Karen Surabian.

By Karen Surabian, Thomas Stackhouse, and Jeffrey W. Thomas, Contributing Writers

As the fall and winter seasons progress, you may be attending more scientific conferences, where you may find a number of opportunities for research collaborations.

To assist your lab in reaching its research goals through collaborations, the staff of the National Cancer Institute Technology Transfer Center (NCI TTC) can guide you through a tool box of agreements you may need for protecting your intellectual property (IP) and effectively managing your collaboration. 

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What Does the Employee Diversity Team Have in Store for Fall?

A photograph of a Sioux Indian

The Sioux Indian tribe and others are represented in the EDT display case for November. (Photo credit: Library of Congress.)

By Andrea Frydl, Contributing Writer

Fall Activities

The Employee Diversity Team (EDT) is out and about this fall, making the NCI at Frederick community aware of various cultural traditions and events around Frederick County that employees can participate in. The team is working with staff members of Native American descent to feature a display case and movie selection celebrating Native American Heritage Month in November. The team will keep you informed about Frederick events taking place in November and December. Keep a look out for EDT e-mails. 

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Green Team Hosts Plant Swap to Encourage Gardening

Howard Young and Dolores Winterstein receiving a plant from a participant

Green Team members Howard Young and Dolores Winterstein received an Oxalis triangularis from one of the participants in the team’s Fall Plant Swap

By Carolynne Keenan, Contributing Writer

What started out as a way for Howard Young, Ph.D., to thin out his garden last fall turned into the NCI at Frederick Green Team’s Plant Swap. The group held its Fall Plant Swap on October 24, encouraging all members of the Fort Detrick community to pick up a free plant or swap a plant of theirs for another.

“Those who love to garden introduce others to the joy of gardening,” said Dolores Winterstein, a member of the Green Team and the coordinator of the Fall Plant Swap.

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