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Academic Alliance Foundation President to Ring the NASDAQ Stock Market Closing Bell


ADVISORY, Nov. 13, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) --

What: Dr. Merle Sande, President of the Academic Alliance Foundation (AAF) will preside over the closing bell in honor of the annual A Celebration of Partnership Gala, a black-tie benefit to raise support for the AAF mission to reduce the global burden of infectious diseases by building health care capacity and strengthening academic medical institutions. The event will be held on the evening of November 14th in New York City. This second annual gala is a milestone for AAF as well as an opportunity to honor President William Jefferson Clinton, a global leader whose vision and leadership inspire worldwide partnership around the common goal of HIV/AIDS care. Proceeds from A Celebration of Partnership Gala will support AAF's partnership with the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), a medical research, training, treatment and prevention institute in Kampala, Uganda. Where: NASDAQ MarketSite - 4 Times Square - 43rd & Broadway - Broadcast Studio When: Tuesday, November 14th, 2006 at 4:00 p.m. ET Contacts: Rosann Wiseman Executive Director 703.294.6551 NASDAQ MarketSite: Stephanie Lowenthal; 646.441.5220

Feed Information:

The closing bell is available from 3:50 p.m. to 4:05 p.m. on uplink IA-6 C-band/transponder 17. The downlink frequency is 4040 Vertical; Audio 6.2-6.8. The feed can also be found on Waterfront fiber 1623. If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Lowenthal at (646) 441-5220.


To obtain a hi-resolution photograph of the Market Close, please go to and click on the market close of your choice.

About Academic Alliance Foundation:

AAF was born out of a unique private-public partnership between academicians of Africa and North America, the pharmaceutical industry and other organizations and institutions looking to unite in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Their partnership became the Academic Alliance. They were convinced that a more collaborative, African-based and African-led approach would produce sustainable results. The paramount need was to strengthen and upgrade academic medical centers in sub-Saharan Africa, so they could educate and prepare a new generation of health care professionals, skilled in best practices to lead a resurgent effort against infectious disease. Such centers, modeled upon the best academic medical centers in the world, would pioneer new and improved therapies and prevention strategies, applicable to both rural and urban settings, while offering advanced treatment and care to those already afflicted.

The linkage of training, clinical care and prevention, and research at the centers would attract and retain promising young physicians and researchers and would promote the highest standards of performance.

The medical school at Makerere University offered an ideal location, but it lacked an adequate facility and the resources to achieve the necessary impact. A multi-year commitment from Pfizer Inc. made possible the construction, equipping, and initial programmatic funding of a state-of-the-art facility - the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) - that houses training, treatment, and clinical research programs. The IDI was gifted to Makerere University in 2005 to underscore the importance of collaboration and to promote African leadership.

Today, IDI operates as an independent teaching, research, and clinical organization within Makerere University and in partnership with the Academic Alliance Foundation (AAF). To date, more than 1,100 doctors, nurses, and other health care providers from 24 African countries have been trained at IDI. The IDI also trains Makerere University medical students and residents in the latest HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment protocols, and has counseled and treated more than 19,000 patients. The IDI has completed 17 clinical research projects and has 11 new studies under way; all aimed at improving clinical care and advancing prevention and treatment strategies. Research findings not only inform clinical care, but are also incorporated into IDI training programs.

By enhancing the stature and recognition of the Faculty of Medicine at Makerere University, AAF and IDI are helping to reverse the trend of African health care professionals pursuing career opportunities abroad. African doctors and medical scientists can pursue their clinical interests in a world-class academic medical setting and continue to serve the needs of their homeland. Above all, the IDI model - combining training, clinical care and prevention, and research in an African-based, academic medical institution - has proven extraordinarily successful with far-reaching applications for similar efforts elsewhere in Africa.

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