A research team led by Dr. John Young, professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and Dr. Sumit Chanda, associate professor at Sanford-Burnham, was awarded a $21 million Program Project Grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This funding will allow the team to analyze the innate immune response (the body’s earliest defenses) against HIV infection using a systems biology approach. This large-scale initiative aims to increase our understanding of all the body’s cellular and molecular factors that work together to respond to HIV-1 infection and how these factors influence a patient’s prognosis.The project will bring together a multidisciplinary team of 13 research groups at seven institutions to uncover the cellular machinery that represents the first line of defense against HIV, the cause of AIDS.
“The events that occur immediately after exposure to HIV, which determines the ability of the virus to establish infection and ultimately shape the course of the disease, are very poorly understood,” said Dr. Chanda. “This grant funds a multi-center consortium that will integrate cutting edge technologies in systems biology and next-generation sequencing with world-leading expertise in immunology and virology to decode and model the early molecular events that occur after HIV enters the body. These projects will be fundamental towards the development of safe and effective HIV vaccines, as well as novel preventative therapies for HIV.”
Read more about the project in a recent San Diego Union-Tribune article.