Researchers at the University of Utah have received a $6.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the mechanisms of HIV infection in hopes of finding new ways to combat HIV disease, the Salt Lake City Deseret News reports. "Our main emphasis is trying to prevent the virus from entering target cells," said Michael Kay, assistant professor of biochemistry. "We'll also try to prevent HIV from leaving a cell that it has infected."
The scientists will focus specifically on findings from their previous research that identified the viral Tsg101 protein that HIV uses to release viral copies from infected cells. They hope to develop a way to inhibit Tsg101 to prevent replicated virus from exiting infected cells and thereby preventing new copies of the virus from circulating in the blood stream and infecting other immune system cells.