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James Del Priore

James Del Priore, assistant to the DCRT director, has received an NIH Special Act Award for negotiating a site licensing agreement with Microsoft Corp. for desktop software, saving NIH several million dollars. The purchase agreement, the first of its kind, enables NIH staff to install all upgrades of Microsoft Office Suite software on their PC or Macintosh computers until Apr. 1, 1997.

NIAID Scientists Honored by AAAS

An NIAID intramural research team is cowinner of this year's American Association for the Advancement of Science-Newcomb Cleveland Prize, awarded to the authors of the best paper published in Science. The paper by Dr. Edward A. Berger and his Laboratory of Viral Diseases (LVD) colleagues Dr. Yu Feng, Dr. Christopher C. Broder and Paul E. Kennedy described crucial new information about how the human immunodeficiency virus infects immune system cells.

Since the early years of the AIDS epidemic, scientists have recognized that HIV attacks white blood cells known as T lymphocytes that display a molecule known as CD4 on their surface. Studies have shown, however, that CD4 alone is insufficient to allow the virus to infect these cells; another molecule is also required. In their study, Berger and his coauthors identified that second molecule, dubbed "fusin," and showed that it enables certain strains of HIV to fuse with and enter CD4 positive T cells.

Berger has been at NIAID since 1987 and has been chief of LVD's molecular structure section since 1995. He and his colleagues share the Newcomb Cleveland Prize with physicists from the University of Colorado and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Their report of the first creation of a Bose-Einstein condensate, a state of matter predicted by Albert Einstein in 1924, may advance the implementation of atomic lasers.

Established in 1923, the AAAS-Newcomb Cleveland Prize is AAAS's oldest award. Awardees receive $5,000 and a bronze medal. The prizes will be presented this month at the AAAS annual meeting in Seattle.

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