$21 Million for New AIDS/HIV Study

LA JOLLA, Calif., Aug. 16 (UPI) — The Salk Institute in California will lead a $21 million study on the human immune system’s response to initial exposure to the AIDS virus, officials said.

The study is intended to provide clues to a process that is poorly understood despite the existence of drugs that have been found effective in fighting the disease in many people, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Monday.

Research groups from six institutions will join the Salk research into how proteins work at the cellular level to create a defense against the virus.

The National Institutes of Health is funding the project, to be led by Salk immunologist John Young, which is intended to yield new and better therapies.

“With the exception of a few specific proteins … there is actually very little known about how cellular innate immune factors and pathways defend against HIV infection,” Young said.

The Salk research effort will involve scientists from the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla, UC San Francisco, UC San Diego, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania.

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