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Subject: "TAKE ACTION: Write a letter to UF to get NIH grant $$ to Dr. Bloom"     Previous Topic | Next Topic
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Aug-03-09, 05:14 PM (CST)
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"TAKE ACTION: Write a letter to UF to get NIH grant $$ to Dr. Bloom"

The University of Florida -- home to Dr. Bloom and his innovative HSV research -- has just won a $26M grant from the NIH, to help expedite the development of promising medical technologies.

Let's take this opportunity to email two UF officials who will be governing how the funds are allocated! If they are aware of the public demand for Dr. Bloom's technology, they may assist him with finding a licensing partner for the HSV1 clinicals, as well as funding the $200k needed for HSV2 pre-clinical research.


Please feel free to send it from a generic email address, or via a hardcopy letter...we respect your privacy, and certainly encourage you to take action in whatever way is most comfortable to you.


Dear Drs. Guzick and Dr. Stacpoole,

I would like to express my congratulations on winning the National Institutes of Health's Clinical and Translational Science Award. It is wonderful news for the medical researchers at the University of Florida.

I am writing to you as a member of the HSV community. We are excited about how the NIH grant might make the difference in bringing Dr. Bloom’s HSV work to fruition. Given Dr. Guzick’s experience with utilizing this NIH grant mechanism at the University of Rochester to bring the HPV vaccine from the lab table to the doctor’s office, I hope that you both will be able to support a similar effort at UF in regards to HSV.

Please allow me to share some facts about HSV:

- There are two strains of HSV (herpes simplex virus): HSV1 (commonly associated with oral “cold sores” and ocular herpes, but is increasingly being reported in the genital region) and HSV2 (commonly associated with genital herpes)
- 1 in 4 people have HSV2; 90% are unaware they have it, because they have no/very mild symptoms that they assume are something else (i.e., yeast infection, jock itch, razor burn, etc.)
- 75% of the U.S. population has HSV1 – the rate is higher in other countries
- The American Social Health Associate (ASHA) expects that 40-50% of the U.S. population will have HSV2 by 2025; there are 500,000 new cases of HSV2 every year
- While the majority of HSV carriers have no/mild symptoms, a certain percentage of HSV+ people can have extremely serious complications, such as ocular herpes, herpes encephalitis and neonatal herpes
- HSV carriers are 5x more likely to acquire HIV
- HSV can be transmitted even when the carrier is not having an outbreak – asymptomatic viral shedding is the #1 cause of HSV transmission
- HSV is not included in a “full” STD screen – many people think they are "clean", when in fact they have (and can transmit) HSV
- Despite its prevalence, HSV is a heavily stigmatized condition in many countries -- and so often has deep emotional ramifications (depression, anxiety, even thoughts of suicide) for the people who are diagnosed with this condition

HSV is the “hidden epidemic” that is growing at an alarming rate, due to lack of education and lack of either a therapeutic or preventative vaccine. I believe UF may have a viable answer to this issue. So, I request that the grant managers:

- fast-track” Dr. Bloom’s HSV-1 work into clinical trials. It is my understanding that he has a viable HSV1 hammerhead ribozyme treatment ready for clinical trials. This technology would be an ideal candidate for receiving grant assistance that expedites the process of finding a licensing partner.

- utilize some of the grant to fund Dr. Bloom’s HSV2 pre-clinical work. It is my understanding that Dr. Bloom needs $200k to perform this research. I believe this investment would be returned fifty-fold, should a viable product be realized from this work.

I am hopeful that Dr. Bloom and his team will ultimately be successful in their quest to greatly reduce, or even eliminate, the biological impacts of HSV. Many members of the HSV community feel so strongly about the technology, they sent private donations to UF, with an earmark towards his research. We hope that you will also support Dr. Bloom by giving him the financial support he needs to succeed.

Please let me know if there are other actions I, as a private citizen, can take to help drive funding support to Dr. Bloom’s research. You may reach me at .



Here are links to the email and mailing addresses:

Dr. David Guzick
Senior Vice President for Health Affairs

Dr. Peter Stacpoole
Director, Clinical and Translational Science Institute

If you are sending an email and would like to cc Dr. Bloom, his contact information is here.

Once you've taken action, please post in a note in this thread to let everyone know...we'd love to flood the UF office with letters and emails!


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