We start from the hypothesis that in HIV-1 infected individuals with HIV-1 specific broadly neutralising activity in serum, virus variants with specific envelope characteristics are present that have elicited these responses and that could elicit these responses again as a vaccine immunogen. Our goal is to gather the skills and efforts of several active research groups in trying to achieve new HIV-1 immunogens, ranging from clinical samples to small animal models.


Cloning and sequencing HIV-Env genes, and development of a genetic and functional (sensitive to antibodies) env database.

High-throughput cloning, expression and purification of HIV env genes that in potential may elicit broadly Nabs and the creation of Env protein arrays.

Antigen optimisation and identification of novel neutralisation-sensitive epitopes as HIV-1 vaccine candidates.

Rational mutagenesis of env aimed at de-protecting highly conserved neutralisation epitopes that are kept in a cryptic conformation or at stabilising env in a conformation that optimally presents the CD4-binding site.

Novel strategies for inducing inter-clade and intra-clade cross-reactive responses.

Optimisation of antigen targeting to the correct cells of the immune system.

Novel adjuvants for Th2 response and delivery strategies for mucosal routes.

Optimisation of immunisation routes and prime-boost schedules.

Exploitation of the knowledge on the mechanisms of HIV mucosal infection and mucosal immunity for the development of safe and effective vaccines capable of preventing HIV-1 infection.

Development of an immunological platform with standardised procedures.

Effectieve start/einddatum1/02/0831/07/12

ID: 1081274