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Einstein receives nearly $5 million to study how Ebola causes infection
Date:7/9/2012

July 9, 2012 (Bronx, NY) The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University a five-year, $4.8 million grant to study the molecular mechanism that allows the Ebola virus to cause infection and spread in animals.

The Ebola virus is one of the world's deadliest viruses, causing fatal hemorrhagic fevers in humans and in primates. It is highly contagious, and there is no known cure. Ebola kills up to 90 percent of the people it infects.

The grant award builds on earlier groundbreaking research. Einstein scientists were part of a multi-institutional team that helped to identify the protein (Niemann-Pick C1 or NPC1) critical for infection by the Ebola virus. The team, led at Einstein by Kartik Chandran, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology & immunology and principal investigator of the new NIH grant, showed that cells that did not make NPC1 could not be infected by Ebola. The findings were published last August in Nature. A follow-up paper from the same team, published in EMBO Journal, demonstrated that NPC1 is an essential receptor for entry of Ebola virus into cells.

The NIH grant will study the interaction between NPC1 and Ebola that lead to infection and determine how NPC1 functions as a critical receptor for the virus. Because such interactions are often crucial to the emergence and spread of a virus into new populations, Einstein researchers are als
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Contact: Kim Newman
sciencenews@einstein.yu.edu
718-430-3101
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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