The HIV Vaccine Trials Network
(HVTN) conducts clinical trials world-wide with the purpose
of developing a safe and efficacious vaccine to prevent HIV-1 infection. Southern Africa
bears the highest burden of HIV disease and is therefore a focus for many of the current and
upcoming HIV vaccine clinical trials. To measure immune responses to the trial vaccines,
the HVTN requires a local high quality GCLP-certified laboratory that can evaluate immune
responses from relevant specimens obtained from the southern African clinical trial sites.
The HVTN Laboratory in Cape Town, South Africa will:
- provide local laboratory analysis of specimens from vaccine trials
- facilitate training of scientists who wish to learn specialized clinical trial assay techniques
- allow closer collaboration with South African researchers in the development of an HIV vaccine.
The Cape Town HVTN Immunology Laboratory (CHIL) will perform validated GCLP-certified cellular
endpoint assays on samples from clinical trial sites throughout Southern Africa. These critical
data will help inform decisions on the advancement of new HIV vaccines. In addition, the
laboratory will conduct studies to better understand how the whole body responds to vaccinations
both in the first few days to weeks after vaccination and then years later.
The laboratory continues to seek out cross-institutional collaborations for research projects and
training of local researchers. CHIL is supported by the Hutchinson Center Research Institute of
South Africa (HCRISA), a non-profit South African entity established by the Fred Hutchinson
Cancer Research Center
. Funding for the laboratory renovation was received from the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
CHIL is looking to hire some of the best and brightest South African scientific and administrative
staff to join our efforts.
21-25 October: Pathway to an HIV Vaccine and the Role of Laboratory Science in Vaccine Clinical Trials (click here
for more details. Applications due 1 October).
CHIL is a division of the Hutchinson Centre Research Institute South Africa