Led by Joseph L. Bryant, D.V.M., the Animal Models Division is a unique feature of the Institute, enabling scientists to work with relatively inexpensive models to study AIDS and new drugs or therapies without risk to humans. Developing animal subjects for use in viral research is a science unto itself, and it is essential in taking a discovery from laboratory to clinic.
The use of animals as models for human disease has been indispensable in understanding the causes, biology and prevention of disease; the Animal Models Division at the Institute of Human Virology has developed the following models for studying AIDS and AIDS-associated cancers:
All of these models have and are playing a crucial role in understanding the pathogenesis of AIDS and various cancers with the ultimate intent of providing models for pre-clinical testing of new anti-HIV and anti-cancer drugs and treatment. The goal of the continuing development of the HIV transgenic rat model is to develop a small animal model that can be used for testing vaccines.