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Waterford Seeks Direct Support
We appreciated your coverage of the Waterford Project in your cover story and editorial in the May issue of Bio·IT World (pages 38 and 6, respectively). Public understanding and support are critical ingredients in our ongoing effort to merge science and IT to accelerate the development of an HIV/AIDS vaccine.

Unfortunately, on the IT side, with the exception of the Gates Foundation (which has funded the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, IAVI), there is a tendency to confine support to the offering of older equipment or software know-how. This project will not work if we cannot find more direct support. Without the money to support the science, the IT component is of no use. Scientists don't use IT just for the sake of it — they learn to use it because there is some scientific reason to collaborate. That reason does not exist if we cannot provide funds for their joint projects in the first place. Hence our focus must simply be on straight funding.

We had hoped for that funding from the IT community when it was flush. Now that it is down, I don't know if we can get it. But as you noted in your editorial, the amounts needed are not that high. Folks like John Chambers, Larry Ellison, and Scott McNealy have proselytized for years about how IT can change the world. Now we have a chance to prove it. Hopefully we will get the opportunity to visit with them and others who can really make a difference. After all, 8,000 people are dying of AIDS worldwide every day. No matter how far the IT world is down from its market highs, many people have still done very well. With your help, we hope to get this message to them.

Stephen R. Effros
The Waterford Project
10805 Main Street, Suite 700
PO Box 1005
Fairfax, VA 22030

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