Abraham Brass receives grant from Gilead for HIV research

By Jim Fessenden

UMass Medical School Communications

November 03, 2017
  Abraham Brass, MD, PhD

Abraham L. Brass, MD, PhD

Abraham L. Brass, MD, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology & physiological systems, is one of five investigators nationwide to share a $7.5 million grant from California-based biotechnology company Gilead Sciences Inc. for translational research aimed at curing HIV.

The HIV cure grants program, initially announced in February 2016 by Gilead, seeks to cure and ultimately eradicate HIV and AIDS through the company’s research and development and philanthropic leadership. The first set of HIV cure grants, totaling more than $22 million, were awarded to 12 projects in January.

Dr.  Brass’s lab studies the interactions between viruses, such as HIV, and their hosts.

“Antiviral therapy blocks viral replication and prevents the destruction of host immune cells,” Brass said. “However, when this therapy is stopped, latent HIV-1 can re-emerge. Our goal is to find host factors that are critical for this reactivation. These efforts will improve our understanding of viral latency and may help to identify a means to cure HIV-1 infection.”

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