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A Revolutionary Breakthrough

 A Revolutionary BreakthroughRecently named by Esquire magazine as an individual who has the potential to ‘revolutionize the world,’ Anne De Groot, who trained in a residency with Tufts faculty, is making strides to find a vaccine for HIV. New York City.

Boston [12.19.03] This month, Esquire magazine recognized some of the brightest professionals in the nation -- including social leader Jesse Jackson Jr., comedian Will Ferrell, and Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein - for their potential to change the world. Among this select group was Anne De Groot, MD, CEO of EpiVax Inc. in Rhode Island, who completed her residency in infectious diseases at Tufts-New England Medical Center. While her name may not be as recognizable as her fellow winners, the gravity of her work is -- leading a company striving to find a vaccine for HIV.

"We are optimistic with our work at the company," De Groot told Mass High Tech. "We are making progress and are moving from the bleeding edge to the cutting edge of this technology."

De Groot founded EpiVax Inc. in 1998. The company is dedicated to "merging in vitro immunology research with bioinformatics to generate new vaccines for infectious diseases such as HIV, TB, and hepatitis, and new therapeutics for cancer and autoimmune diseases," reported Mass High Tech.

De Groot, who completed both a residency and fellowship at Tufts-NEMC after graduating from the University of Chicago, said that her company is not only new, but it takes a modern approach to research. "I use computers in my research and take it one step further by developing vaccines," she told the publication.

De Groot added, "My generation is a new breed of scientist. We put an emphasis on the use of computers because we have grown up around them since undergraduate school."

The researcher and clinician is also working to address HIV on other fronts. She directs the Tuberculosis/HIV Research Laboratory at Brown University School of Medicine, and runs a newsletter that instructs correctional workers on how to work with inmates with HIV.

De Groot told Mass High Tech that she is optimistic that her research will create the momentum necessary to make a difference in her field.

"Now that the government has more interest in vaccines, in part because of a concern about bioterrorism, we are hoping to expand and make progress in treating many kinds of diseases," she said.

As she told Mass High Tech, "The field of developing vaccines is no longer being ignored. We are no longer ignored."



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