Upstate News

July 19, 2000
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

SUNY Upstate wins $72,000 grant to study HIV

Edward Barker, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology and immunology in the College of Medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University, has received a $72,000 grant from the American Foundation of AIDS Research (AmfAR). The grant will fund efforts to find out why human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, decreases the production of B7 molecules that are necessary to help fight the virus and ward of the development of AIDS.

“People who are asymptomatic with HIV have high levels of B7 molecules compared to people who have developed AIDS,” Barker said. “We want know what is disturbing the expression of B7 molecules in people who have full blown AIDS.”

Barker said the results of the study will provide insight into the development of therapies aimed at preventing HIV and their proteins from disrupting B7 and may influence the design of HIV vaccines that avoid decreasing the level of B7.

How HIV evades the body’s immune system and renders it obselete has been at the forefront of Barker’s research over the last decade. “Two decades after AIDS was first recognized, researchers have made tremendous efforts to understand and deal with the syndrome as well as its etiolocial agent, HIV,” said Barker. “This has not only led to successful treatment of individuals with HIV to curtail its effects but has increased our understanding of virology and immunology in general. However there is a long road ahead before we are able to find a vaccine and possibly a cure.”

Barker resides in Jamesville.

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