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defeatHIV Martin Delaney Collaboratory

Our work at defeatHIV was galvanized by the case of Timothy Ray Brown, a Seattle native who became the first person in the world to be cured of HIV. The mechanism of cure in this case, transplantation with cells containing a mutated gene that confers natural resistance to HIV, emphasizes that cell and gene therapies represent perhaps the most promising approach to cure HIV. We are focused on understanding and developing Timothy’s cure into a therapy that can be offered to countless people worldwide.

In this regard we are inspired by the revolutionary work of Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, a founding faculty member of Fred Hutch and ‘Father’ of the bone marrow transplant, which has brought life-saving therapy to cancer survivors around the globe.

Core strategies of our Collaboratory include creating cells that are resistant to HIV and can seek out and destroy HIV-infected cells, and boosting the immune system’s ability to control and eliminate HIV when it becomes active. To accomplish this, we are adapting carefully-honed techniques from immunotherapy and cutting-edge advances in gene editing — many pioneered here at Fred Hutch — and applying them to HIV cure.


defeatHIV is based at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA and is supported by a program at the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in honor of AIDS activist, Martin Delaney. This program, called the Martin Delaney Collaboratory: Towards an HIV-1 cure, focuses on providing support for curative HIV research strategies and fosters partnerships between public and private research organizations. Learn more below.

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Martin Delaney Collaboratories for HIV Cure Research

In honor of AIDS activist Martin Delaney, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in 2011 sponsored a new funding program designed to foster public- and private-sector collaboration in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The program, named Martin Delaney Collaboratory: Towards an HIV-1 Cure, is dedicated to supporting new curative strategies that encompass key areas of basic and clinical research. The first period of funding spanned 2011-2016. A second, five-year funding period commenced in 2016.

To learn more about NIAID’s HIV cure research, visit their HIV/AIDS Cure Research website.



  • defeatHIV, Cell & Gene Therapy for HIV Cure

  • DARE, Delaney AIDS Research Enterprise

  • CARE, Collaboratory of AIDS Researchers for Eradication

  • BELIEVE, Bench to Bed Enhanced Lymphocyte Infusions to Engineer Viral Eradication

  • I4C, Combined Immunologic Approaches to Cure HIV-1

  • BEAT-HIV, Delaney Collaboratory to Cure HIV-1 Infection by Combination Immunotherapy


  • defeatHIV, the Delaney Cell and Genome Engineering Initiative

    • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center / Sangamo BioSciences

  • DARE, Delaney AIDS Research Enterprise

    • University of California San Francisco / Merck Research Laboratories

  • CARE, Collaboratory of AIDS Researchers for Eradication

    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill / Merck Research Laboratories

About: About Us
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Activist, leader, public health hero. There are few people who have had a greater impact on HIV/AIDS health policies than Martin Delaney.  From the time HIV was recognized as a public health threat in the early 1980s and leading up to his death in 2009, Delaney worked tirelessly as an educator and advocate for HIV/AIDS patients.

Delaney was internationally recognized for his work to change domestic health policy by expediting FDA review and approval of HIV/AIDS therapies. Successfully lobbying for a fast-track approval process, he played a key role in significantly reducing the time it takes for new and emerging drugs to reach the hands of patients. His efforts likely led to thousands of lives saved.

He served on numerous public health policy groups including the NIAID AIDS Research Advisory Committee (1991-1995), NIAID’s National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Disease Council (1995-1998), Fair Pricing Coalition, Board of the Foundation for AIDS.

Delaney founded Project Inform in 1985 and served as its Director until 2008.  Based in San Francisco, the organization successfully raised public awareness and lobbied policy makers on HIV/AIDS issues. Project Inform closed in 2019.

Read Martin's own words "to refocus the attention of the patient, activist and research communities on the need for a true cure for HIV."

The Cure: Why, Whether, How and When

About: Who We Are
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