University of Pittsburgh Awarded $16M Grant To Study HIV, Develop New Antiretrovirals
The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has received a $16 million grant from NIH to study HIV and help develop new antiretroviral drugs, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 8/27). According to a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center release, the five-year grant will be used to establish the Pittsburgh Center for HIV Protein Interactions. The center will be funded jointly by NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (UPMC release, 8/27).
The center is one of three being funded by NIH. It will specialize in developing methods and tools for understanding what happens to HIV structurally and at the atomic level after it infects cells, the Tribune-Review reports. "We know how HIV attaches to its host and how it gains entry to cells, but what happens between when it first enters into the cells and when it integrates itself into the host genome is still a mystery," Angela Gronenborn, a UPMC professor and chair of the Pittsburgh School of Medicine department of structural biology, said. She added, "By elucidating the important events during this period, we believe we'll learn a great deal about ... how the virus can be stopped."
The other two centers are led by Alan Frankel, a biochemist at the University of California-San Francisco, and Wesley Sundquist, a biochemist at the University of Utah. The three centers will make the methods and tools they develop available to the HIV research community as part of its effort to collaborate with researchers nationally and worldwide, the Tribune-Review reports (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 8/27).