WHSC News and Information

WHSC News Releases for January 2000

January 5 '00 NIH FUNDS STD TOPICAL MICROBICIDE PROJECT AT EMORY UNIVERSITY   The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has approved funding, to be distributed over a five-year-period, for an interdisciplinary research grant at Emory University School of Medicine, Emory College, the Yerkes Primate Research Center and Georgia State University, focusing on the development of compounds that inactivate bacteria or viruses that cause sexually transmitted diseases. Richard W. Compans, Ph.D., professor and chair of the department of microbiology and immunology in Emory School of Medicine, is principal investigator for the project, and Emory microbiologist Igor Stojiljkovic, Ph.D., is co-principal investigator.  FULL STORY
January 5 '00 MEMORY T CELLS DON'T FORGET, EMORY SCIENTISTS DISCOVER   Immune memory cells do not require continuing stimulation from viral antigen to maintain their disease-fighting capabilities, according to research by Emory University immunologists. Instead, memory CD8 T cells evolve their own independent "lifestyle" that allows them to retain a "response ready" mode over the long term. This kind of detailed knowledge about how immune memory persists is crucial for the rational design of vaccines, according to Rafi Ahmed, Ph.D., director of the Emory Vaccine Research Center.

Results of the Emory study, conducted by Dr. Ahmed and Emory immunologists Kaja Murali-Krishna, Ph.D. and John Altman, Ph.D., are published in the November 12, 1999 issue of the journal Science.

January 5 '00 EMORY SCIENTISTS RECEIVE NIH PROGRAM GRANT TO DEVELOP INNOVATIVE HIV VACCINE STRATEGIES  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded investigators in the Emory University Vaccine Research Center a five-year program project grant to develop promising new vaccine strategies to prevent HIV infection. The grant, totaling approximately $7.5 million, is funded by a new NIH program called "HIV Vaccine Research and Development Teams" (HIVRAD). 

January 5 '00 EMORY UNIVERSITY PHYSICIANS USE NEW DRUG TO TREAT OBSTRUCTED LEG ARTERIES  Emory University physicians are testing a promising new drug to treat patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD), a chronic, progressive condition in which the arteries supplying the legs become obstructed due to the buildup of atherosclerotic plaque. The new experimental drug, called recombinant fibroblast growth factor 2 (rFGF-2), stimulates the formation of tiny new blood vessels to increase blood flow, a process called angiogenesis. Currently being tested in a Phase II clinical trial, rFGF-2 is a genetically engineered form of a protein (FGF-2) that is produced naturally in tissues.

January 5 '00

Patients who have dangerous abdominal aortic aneurysms can now be successfully treated at Emory University Hospital with a minimally invasive treatment recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The new type of vascular surgery considerably reduces hospitalization and recovery time for patients.

Emory vascular surgeons were among the first in the nation to participate in clinical trials treating these aneurysms with grafts administered via catheters through tiny incisions in the groin – a dramatic alternative to the large abdominal incisions usually required.

January 5 '00 TB RATES IN INNER-CITY ATLANTA REMAIN HIGH DESPITE DECREASES IN U.S., ATLANTA RESEARCHERS REPORT Despite steady declines in tuberculosis rates in the U.S. since 1992, the rate of tuberculosis in the city of Atlanta was more than six times the national average between 1993 and 1997, or 54.6 cases per 100,000 persons, according to a recent study led by an investigator from Emory University and Grady Memorial Hospital, published in the November issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. The incidence of tuberculosis in the U.S. declined 26% between 1992 and 1997, to a case rate of 7.4 per 100,000 in 1997—the lowest ever reported.


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