$100 Million Gift for AIDS Vaccine Research

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The scientific search for an AIDS vaccine will get a nice lift, in the form of a $100 million gift from Massachusetts businessman Phillip Ragon.

The funds will go to a new institute that hopes to harness the combined brain power of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University, according to an editorial in the Providence Journal.

“The hope is that, for example, MIT engineers can lend new perspectives to the medical doctors, biologists and others who have already spent years tilling this hard soil. In the long run, the Ragon Institute’s objective is to find new ways of deploying the immune system against a variety of diseases, not just AIDS,” the Journal says.

And as the authors note, this is a “rare bit of good news” as disease experts brace for a political retreat on global health funding.

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