I am riding and fundraising once again for Emory Vaccine Center and UCLA AIDS Institute. Every time I participate in this ride I seek to uncover what progress has been made in the quest for a vaccine.
Looking at the websites of both the institutions, it appears that hope for an effective vaccine lies in activating the body’s best weapon, T-Cells. Ways of activating these ’killer’ T-Cells and increasing their numbers to fight HIV and cancer, is the goal. UCLA AIDS Institute is the first to generate T-Cells from Stem Cells, while Emory works to develop antibodies that inhibit PD1 which turns T-Cells off.
These two beneficiaries split 100% of the donations raised for this ride to fund groundbreaking research. Progress is being made and I am inspired to help the cause!
Charity Treks has given over $1,000,000 to the beneficiaries in the form of seed grants. Seed grants are extremely valuable as none of the dollars are “earmarked” and as such may be used in the areas of greatest need or greatest potential, at the discretion of the researchers. These grants are typically $25,000 to $40,000 each. These smaller grants are then used to fund creating a proof of concept that can then be submitted to larger organizations such as the National Institute of Health, World Health Organization or others to achieve much larger grants. To date, the seed grants provided by Charity Treks have resulted in millions of dollars towards novel concepts to reach our goal; a world free from AIDS.
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