UTEP Professor Receives $4M for HIV Research

Monday, August 20, 2012 - 2:20pm

EL PASO — The University of Texas at El Paso received a $4 million grant to assist in the research of an HIV vaccine from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study human immunodeficiency virus.

The money will help Kan-Mitchell, professor and principle investigator, as she works to create an effective vaccine for HIV in a project titled “Effector and Regulatory Activities of HLA-E-restricted HIV-specific abCD8 T Cells.”

“This grant describes a new population of T-cells that recognize and fight HIV,” said Kan-Mitchell, whose ultimate goal is to trigger the human body to make a protective immune response against HIV if it is detected.

Kan-Mitchell has about 15 years of experience working with HIV. She received her Ph.D. in pharmacology from Yale University and specializes in the study of anti-viral and anti-cancer cell immune responses in humans, and the engineering of various vaccines.

“Dr. Kan-Mitchell is one of the nation’s top researchers on HIV immunity, and this new National Institutes of Health award is clear evidence of her research expertise,” said Stephen Aley, Ph.D., interim dean of the UTEP College of Science.

Her team includes professionals from around the world – Paul Goepfert, Ph.D., and Steffanie Sabbaj, Ph.D., from The University of Alabama at Birmingham; David Price, Ph.D., and Andrew Sewell, Ph.D., from the Cardiff Institute of Infection and Immunity in Wales, United Kingdom; Miguel Lopez-Botet, Ph.D., from Pompeu Fabra University in Spain; and Donald Hunt,Ph.D., from The University of Virginia.

“UTEP is extremely fortunate to count Kan-Mitchell among our biomedical faculty researchers,” Aley said.

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