Research Spotlight: New horizons in HIV treatment

HIV-1 virusNew and improved treatments – and even cures – for HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases depend upon finding ways to prevent virus production in infected cells. Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Rob Harrod of SMU’s Laboratory of Molecular Virology and fellow researchers at UT-Southwestern Medical Center, the University of Washington, Universite Libre de Bruxelles and other research institutions have identified a novel cellular cofactor essential for HIV-1 replication. Inhibition of this factor blocked up to 95 percent of virus production in HIV-1-infected T-lymphocytes in vitro, carrying important implications for the development of therapies against multi-drug-resistant HIV/AIDS. The research has been published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and featured in the LeadDiscovery pharmaceutical newsletter, and Harrod was invited to present the findings at the Pfizer Pharmaceuticals-Research Technology Center. Read more at his faculty Web site.