NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health has awarded $21 million to support the establishment of the Center for HIV RNA Studies, which is led by researchers at the University of Michigan and includes investigators from 13 other institutions across the US.
The CRNA is based at the University of Michigan and is led by Alice Telesnitsky, a professor of microbiology and immunology. Researchers associated with the center will take a multidisciplinary approach to gaining a better understanding of the HIV-1 RNA molecule and its role in the virus' ability to replicate. It will draw on the researchers' expertise in structural biology, molecular biology, virology, chemistry, and cell and computational biology.
The grant funding is being provided by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"This is an absolutely outstanding group of structural biologists and virologists focused on an understudied yet critical component of the HIV virion—the genomic RNA," Michael Sakalian, the NIGMS official who oversees the grant for the specialized center, said in a statement. "Their efforts to elucidate the structural and functional roles of RNA in the viral life cycle will advance our fundamental understanding of host-virus interactions as well as identify potential new targets for therapeutic intervention."
Among the participating schools in the center are Penn State University, Harvard University, Ohio State University, Baylor College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, University of Maryland, and Rockefeller University.