The National Institutes of Health has awarded $25 million to the UCLA branch of the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network, known as IMPAACT, to continue developing innovative strategies to end HIV among these vulnerable populations.

The funding will go to UCLA’s laboratory, enabling its researchers to work with the network’s operations center, as well as statistical and data management center. The center aims to advance the network’s research, which has already led to effective therapies for women, children and adolescents with HIV, and influenced the standard of care for these groups.

The IMPAACT Network is made up of institutions, investigators and others that assess therapies for HIV and associated symptoms that strike infants, children, adolescents and pregnant women. The network also evaluates clinical trials of therapies addressing mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS.

“I am honored to contribute to IMPAACT’s efforts to provide pregnant women, infants, children and adolescents with state-of-the-art HIV therapies,” said Dr. Grace Aldrovandi, chief of infectious diseases at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and a professor of pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “I hope we will be able to cure children and adolescents of HIV in the near future.”

Researchers at UCLA’s IMPAACT Laboratory Center will work toward three goals:

  • Supporting the network’s research by overseeing standard, as well as cutting-edge testing;
  • Developing new tests to resolve questions that emerge during clinical trials;
  • Coordinating laboratory operations, including management, evaluation, and educational and training programs.

The UCLA IMPAACT Laboratory Center’s mission is to provide state-of-the-art laboratory support to help researchers develop new HIV treatments; develop strategies leading to AIDS remission without the use of antiretroviral therapies; advance tuberculosis treatments, diagnosis and preventive measures; and manage complications and co-infections associated with HIV.