Crowd-funded HIV vaccine project sparks debate [nature.com]
A tiny coffee shop table can barely contain Reid Rubsamen, whose restless energy nearly propels him out of his chair as he talks about the Immunity Project, his initiative to crowd-source money to make a new HIV vaccine.
“It is dreaming big,” declares the anaesthesiologist and entrepreneur, whose enthusiasm makes him an effective pitch man for the Immunity Project, based in Oakland, California. Its web videos have helped the effort raise US$402,000 from crowd-funders, and the technology-startup accelerator Y Combinator, based in Mountain View, California, has chipped in another $20,000.
But missing from Rubsamen’s promotional campaign are any HIV researchers or data supporting the effort’s scientific strategy.