(aka) International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Inc.
125 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004
Spotlight: A Boost for African Science
Traditionally in vaccine trials in developing countries, samples were sent to labs in the developed world to be analyzed. IAVI broke that tradition, providing the necessary training and infrastructure locally so that the immunology work would be done on site. To prove that high-quality research can be done in the developing world, IAVI has its partner labs accredited under the stringent Good Clinical Laboratory Practices (GCLP) scheme. "We are internationally recognized," says Josephine Birungi, Senior Scientist at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), "and that's important."
"IAVI's approach," says Dr. Pontiano Kaleebu, principal investigator at UVRI, "stresses building local capacity for the long term, training people and putting infrastructure on the ground." Dr. Elwyn Chomba, principle investigator of IAVI's partner in Zambia, says that nothing has been as valuable as the training IAVI has provided to the lab's staff. "When you invest in people, you invest forever. Even if we were to find a vaccine against HIV tomorrow, the capacity to do clinical trials in other fields will always be here," she says. "That probably outweighs everything else."
IAVI has received eight consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, the country's premier charity evaluator. Only 1% of the charities CN has rated have received this distinction, showing that IAVI consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way, and outperforms most other charities in America.