The National Institutes of Health has awarded $21 million to a consortium led by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies to investigate how the body's immune system responds immediately after it is exposed to HIV.
It is hoped the research will contribute to the development of new HIV therapies and better understanding of why the infection is more virulent in some people than others.
The project is led by Salk immunologist John Young and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute geneticist Sumit Chanda. Other research organizations on the project are the University of California-San Francisco, the University of California-San Diego, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Northwestern University, and the University of Pennsylvania.
"With the exception of a few specific proteins, (including APOBEC3G and BST-2/CD317) there is actually very little known about how cellular innate immune factors and pathways defend against HIV infection," Young said.