The Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (AGLCC) has presented the Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center with this year's "Guardian Angel" award. The award recognizes the Hope Clinic's excellence in community involvement in clinical research aimed at developing an effective vaccine for HIV and AIDS.
A member of the Emory Vaccine Center's advisory board, Dixon Taylor, also was honored by the AGLCC with its Lifetime Achievement Award for her service and involvement with the Atlanta gay and lesbian community.
The Hope Clinic, located in downtown Decatur near the Emory University campus, is part of the Emory Vaccine Center, one of the nation's largest and most respected vaccine research programs. Created in 2002 to conduct clinical trials of promising new vaccines and therapies for challenging infectious diseases, the Hope Clinic has become one of the leading clinical vaccine trial sites in the country.
"It would not be possible to develop an effective AIDS vaccine without the involvement of our community," says Hope Clinic executive director Mark Mulligan, MD. "We are grateful to the people of Atlanta for their partnership in our AIDS vaccine research and we are extremely pleased to receive this award recognizing our efforts to involve the community in this critical effort."
The Hope Clinic offers a volunteer-centered and scientifically grounded clinical trials program, allowing volunteers to participate in a variety of research studies to help understand the human immune system, find a safe and effective vaccine for HIV/AIDS and prevent other important infectious diseases. The Hope Clinic is recognized for its excellent and innovative prevention studies, its high impact public health agenda, its adherence to the highest ethical standards in clinical research and its active strategic partnerships and service to the community.
"An AIDS vaccine offers the best hope to stop the ongoing worldwide AIDS epidemic, but this has proven to be an extremely difficult task," says Mulligan. "Clinical trials are the only way to create a bridge between laboratory discoveries about vaccines and vaccines that are effective in people."
Through collaboration with its Community Advisory Board, the Hope Clinic solicits input from a wide variety of community groups and individuals to ensure that its research is responsive to community needs and concerns. Its mission includes educating the community at large and increasing awareness in diverse communities about the need to conduct vaccine research and clinical trials as a strategy to improve the well being of people around the world.
The Hope Clinic is an integral part of the Emory School of Medicine's Division of Infectious Diseases and the NIH-designated Emory Center for AIDS Research. The Emory CFAR includes more than 120 investigators collaborating in the areas of clinical, prevention, vaccine and basic science HIV research. In 2007 the National Institutes of Health designated Emory's HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Unit as a primary site nationally in both the AIDS Clinical Trials Group and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.