Bhagi Singh to co-chair federal advisory board

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq 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, and a professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology.

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

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.

For more information about the CHVI, visit .
For more information about the FI, visit