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ASHA grant funds cutting-edge AIDS research at Tel Aviv University
Date:7/12/2012

tools for AIDS research

TAU's ASHA grant is already going a long way towards helping us to understand fundamental steps of HIV/AIDS infection, and how it interacts with its host and impacts the populations it affects. "In order to design novel drugs or preventive vaccines we need to understand the mechanisms of this disease what makes HIV tick," explains Prof. Jonathan Gershoni, Co-Director of the grant, who completed his post-doctoral training at Yale School of Medicine and spent an extended sabbatical at America's National Institutes of Health with Dr. Robert Gallo co-discoverer of the AIDS virus. "The support from ASHA is making this goal a reality," Gershoni said.

Researchers are currently studying every facet of HIV/AIDS, including how the virus targets specific cells and replicates, each step in the virus life cycle, new opportunities for novel drug development, and understanding the interplay between the virus and its host cell and the immune response it stimulates. The ASHA project also includes research on HIV co-infections with fungal disease and other devastating viral infections such as hepatitis.

In addition to the facility to safely study viruses, ASHA has provided advanced equipment to be used by all the scientists involved in the project. "In order to answer these crucial questions, we need the latest technological tools," says Prof. Gershoni. Nicknamed the "lab without walls" among the researchers, the equipment provided is distributed among all scientists involved in this truly collaborative effort.

Helping those in need

The project embodies many of USAID and ASHA's core values, which seek to aid developing countries with economic and health challenges. Although HIV/AIDS is a worldwide crisis, it takes a particularly heavy toll on Sub-Saharan Africa, a region that encompasses approximately two thirds of the world's HIV-infected population. More than a health concern, HIV/AIDS is causin
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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

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