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

understanding of the barriers to curing HIV infection.

Brandon Keele, Ph.D./Mentor: Beatrice Hahn, M.D.
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
$125,000

Identification and biological characteristics of transmitted HIV-1: Within weeks of HIV infection, most individuals have begun to mount vigorous immune responses to attack the virus, and yet there is no documented case of infection ever having been cleared. Dr. Keele plans to characterize the rapid mutations that HIV undergoes during the first months of infection in order to evade destruction by the immune system. He will also investigate the dynamics of viral mutation when a person is infected with more than one virus variant, and how that may alter the ways in which the virus responds to the immune system. Understanding the dynamics between the virus and the immune system during acute infection will guide efforts to develop an AIDS vaccine.

Kara Lassen, Ph.D./Mentor: Jonathan Karn, Ph.D.
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
$125,000

Novel post-transcriptional mechanisms of HIV-1 latency and reactivation: The major barrier to eradicating and thus curing HIV infection is the ability of the virus to persist in infected cells in a latent state, thus avoiding destruction by the immune system or by antiretroviral therapy. This survival strategy is accomplished by the virus when it begins to make copies of itself, which remain in the infected cells nucleus. Dr. Lassen will investigate the mechanism whereby HIV can begin making productive copies of itself after this period of latency. Understanding how viral production can be reactivated will help researchers design strategies to cure HIV infection.

Bruno Marchand, Ph.D./Mentor: Stefan Sarafianos, Ph.D.
University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
$125,000

Ultrapotent inhibitors of wild-type and multi-drug resistant HIV: Despite the availability of more t
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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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