application abstract) Since the predominant mode of HIV transmission involves sexual contact, with intestinal and vaginal mucosal surfaces providing the first line of defense against viral infection, an increased focus on the investigation of viral populations associated with mucosal routes of transmission is highly relevant. This application describes a training program for Dr. Anita Trichel, and is designed to provide her with the training and skills to become an independent investigator. The broad, long-term objective of this project is to develop a reproducible, well-characterized animal model for evaluating SIV transmission across multiple mucosal surfaces, utilizing the SIV:macaque model for HIV-induced AIDS; and then apply these data to the development of mucosal vaccine strategies. a. Candidate: Dr. Anita Trichel has a D.V.M. from Louisiana State University and is enrolled in a training program leading both to a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and ACLAM board certification. Currently, she is enrolled in the Molecular and Cellular Biology program at Tulane where she has maintained an A average in her coursework, which is nearing completion. b. Mentor: Dr. Michael Murphey-Corb is an expert on various aspects of SIV biology. Dr. Murphey-Corb has made significant observations, including the first demonstration of protection by vaccination in a SIV/HIV system. Dr. Trichel has a second mentor, Dr. James L. Blanchard, who is Head of Veterinary Sciences at TRPRC. Dr. Blanchard holds both the D.V.M. and Ph.D. degrees, the former is from LSU and the latter is from Washington State University. He is also a ACLAM Diplomate. c. Career Development Plan: The plan includes didactic coursework, a multitude of seminar series, and laboratory procedures. d. Research Plan: The proposed research includes the evaluation of genetic variants transmitted by three different routes of infection, oral, vaginal, and rectal, using a single, genetically diverse stock of SIV Delta B670. Development and evaluation of a mucosal vaccine based on mucosally transmitted genotypes is proposed during the final phase of the research plan. e. Environment and Institutional Commitment: The Tulane Regional Primate Research Center is one of the largest breeding facilities for rhesus macaques in the country. The institution is committed to the training of basic science researchers, as well as clinicians.
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