Researchers get $21M to study HIV

A team headed by researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute has been awarded a $21 million grant to ascertain how the immune system reacts immediately after it is exposed to the AIDS virus. The project will bring together the expertise of 13 research groups at seven institutions to uncover the cellular protein machinery that represents the first line of defense against HIV.

"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," John Young, director of the Nomis Foundation Laboratories for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis at the Salk, tells the San Diego Union Tribune.

The consortium's work is being funded by the NIH in hopes that it will lead to new and better therapies, and an explanation of why some people are more susceptible to infection than others, the Tribune notes.

- check out the Salk Institute's statement
- get more from the San Diego Union Tribune