Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

December 01, 2010 12:00 ET

Government of Canada Announces Co-Chairs of Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative Advisory Board

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 1, 2010) - Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq today marked World AIDS Day by announcing that Dr. Bhagirath Singh and Dr. Jose Esparza will Co-Chair the Advisory Board that will oversee the renewed Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative (CHVI) and its Research and Development Alliance. 

"Dr. Singh and Dr. Esparza are proven leaders in the field of vaccine development," said Minister Aglukkaq. "Their vast experience, expertise and passion for science will guide this important initiative forward and help cement Canada's place in the world as a leader in HIV vaccine research."

Dr. Singh is an internationally recognized expert in the field of immunology with years of experience in vaccine research and development, and in the regulatory review of vaccines. Dr. Singh is also the former Scientific Director for the Canadian Institute of Health Research's Institute of Infection and Immunity. 

Dr. Esparza is an internationally renowned leader in HIV vaccine research with extensive experience in a number of areas related to the development and evaluation of HIV vaccines. 

"Dr. Singh and Dr. Esparza bring the right combination of skills to the table," said Dr. Stefano Bertozzi, Director of the HIV Global Health Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "This is an important step forward in reaching our ultimate goal of finding a safe, effective, affordably and globally accessible HIV vaccine."

The CHVI Advisory Board will oversee the renewed CHVI and its Research and Development Alliance, which was announced at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria, in July, 2010. It will provide advice on implementation and make recommendations on funding for projects to the Ministers responsible for the CHVI (Ministers of Health, Industry and International Cooperation) and to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Government of Canada is committed to a long term, comprehensive approach to address HIV/AIDS in Canada and around the world. Through the CHVI, the Government of Canada in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is investing up to $139 million to accelerate the development of a safe, effective, affordable and globally accessible HIV vaccine.

The CHVI Research and Development Alliance is the cornerstone of the renewed CHVI. It is a network in Canada that brings together leading researchers from the public and private sectors, as well as the international community, to develop innovative solutions to the challenges facing HIV vaccine development.

In addition to the appointment of the Co-Chairs of the Advisory Board, the Government of Canada, in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, today released an invitation to submit applications for the role of Alliance Coordinating Office. Interested organizations are invited to submit an application via the PHAC website http://www.chvi-icvv.gc.ca/isaapp-eng.html.

The Alliance Coordinating Office will focus on building and sustaining the Alliance, identifying research and development gaps within the HIV vaccine field, encouraging the development of innovation projects, and promoting synergy between Alliance members.

A collaboration between the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CHVI is Canada's contribution to the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise. The Government of Canada partners in the CHVI are the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency, Health Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Industry Canada.

As part of its long-term comprehensive approach, the Government of Canada is investing over $72 million domestically this year to address HIV and AIDS. Through the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada (FI), the Government of Canada is supporting programs that improve access to HIV prevention and diagnosis, care and treatment, and support for people vulnerable to, living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.

For more information about the CHVI, visit http://www.chvi-icvv.gc.ca/index-eng.html.

For more information about the FI, visit http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/aids-sida/fi-if/index-eng.php.

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Contact Information

  • Public Health Agency of Canada
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    Office of the Minister of Health Canada
    Jenny Van Alstyne
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