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amfAR announces inaugural Mathilde Krim Fellowship Awards for AIDS research
Date:1/4/2008

n block the successful completion of HIV infection not only before but after the virus converts itself to DNA. Understanding the various ways in which HIV infection can be blocked may aid in the development of therapies that enhance these infection-blocking proteins in humans.

Kushol Gupta, Ph.D./Mentor: Gregory Van Duyne, Ph.D.
The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
$125,000

Biophysical and structural studies of the HIV integrase-DNA complex: In order for HIV infection to take place and to initiate reproduction, HIV must insert itself into the human DNA of the cell it has infected. The process whereby it finds its way to the nucleus of the cell and inserts itself into the DNA is incompletely understood, though researchers know that the HIV DNA must bind to the HIV enzyme integrase as well as the cell protein LEDGF. Dr. Gupta plans to use an array of technologies to generate the first atomic-level illustrations detailing the ways in which these three components bind together to accomplish the integration of HIV DNA into human DNA.

Nolwenn Jouvenet, Ph.D./Mentor: Paul Bieniasz, Ph.D.
Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, New York, NY
$125,000

Morphogenesis and storage of HIV-1 particles: As a final step in the process of reproduction, various components of newly made viruses gather inside the wall of the cell in which they are reproducing. From there, they are assembled into whole viruses that then either bud out of the cell or are absorbed into compartments inside the cell. It is suspected that these internal compartments that sequester the virus might contribute to the ability of the virus to persist in an infected person despite vigorous immune system and drug therapy attacks. Dr. Jouvenet will use sophisticated microscope technology to study the sequestration process and the circumstances under which the virus eventually buds out of the cell, ultimately boosting our
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Contact: Donald Kaplan
donald.kaplan@amfar.org
212-806-1602
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research
Source:Eurekalert

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