IAVI Discovery 500pxIAVI’s vaccine discovery and development laboratories are focused on critical questions of how to generate protective immune responses against target pathogens. Photo credit: Joy Glenn Photography

IAVI’s vaccine discovery and development laboratories are focused on identifying ways to generate protective immune responses against HIV and other infectious diseases, characterizing and optimizing antibodies as prevention and treatment products, and addressing other unmet global health needs. In doing this wide-ranging work, IAVI researchers collaborate closely with other innovators across the global health research landscape.

In 2008, IAVI established the Vaccine Design and Development Laboratory (DDL) to facilitate the design and development of viral vectors for vaccines. Scientists at the DDL engineer natural viruses to deliver vaccine immunogens with the goal of generating long-lasting antiviral immune responses. The DDL team uses the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) as a vector to develop vaccine candidates for HIV and emerging infectious diseases such as Lassa fever, Marburg virus diseases, Sudan ebolavirus, and COVID-19.

Since 2009, due to the efforts of the IAVI Neutralizing Antibody Center (NAC) at Scripps Research and other institutions, hundreds of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) have been isolated from volunteers with HIV. The structures of some of the most potent of these antibodies and their targets on the virus have also been solved. NAC scientists are now using these discoveries to inform the design of novel HIV vaccine candidates and are using advances in antibody science to develop antibodies to prevent and treat other diseases.

The Antibody Translational Research Program at the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) NCR Biotech Science Cluster in Faridabad, Haryana, India, designs and evaluates preventive HIV vaccines. As a NAC-collaborating center of excellence, the laboratory plays a crucial role in spurring indigenous antibody discovery and preclinical development efforts and promoting industry collaboration on promising prevention products.

The IAVI Human Immunology Laboratory (HIL), based at Imperial College London, serves as the clinical immunology reference laboratory for IAVI and its research partners worldwide. The HIL specializes in the analysis of immune responses from studies and clinical trials by IAVI and its partners, serves as a central repository for samples collected from clinical and epidemiology research studies, and plays a crucial role in strengthening existing scientific capabilities in affiliated African and Indian laboratories.


IAVI clinical researchIAVI’s network of independent yet interconnected research centers in sub-Saharan Africa, India, and the U.K. play a central role in our clinical research. Photo credit: Sokomoto Photography

Clinical and epidemiology research

IAVI conducts clinical trials, observational epidemiology, and sociobehavioral research that informs the design of vaccine candidates and other prevention modalities. This work also provides important data for future efficacy trials to prevent HIV and other diseases of global public health significance. IAVI works with academic, government, foundation, and community-based partners to conduct this research.

IAVI’s network of clinical research partners in sub-Saharan Africa, India, and the U.K. play a central role in our clinical research.

IAVI supports the development of in-country scientific and technical expertise and leadership needed to conduct research at the highest ethical and scientific standards. IAVI also implements the concepts of Good Participatory Practice Guidelines to ensure community engagement throughout the research process.

IAVI’s key clinical research activities:

  • Test novel vaccines and antibodies from preclinical research through Phase I-III clinical trials. This includes products against HIV, SARS-CoV2, tuberculosis, Lassa fever, snakebite, and others.
  • Prepare to execute efficacy trials in at-risk populations through supportive epidemiology and capacity building, as well as stakeholder and community engagement.
  • Develop in-country scientific capacity and leadership in the HIV research field, including HIV vaccine design and development through a wide range of collaborative and education programs.