Gates grant goes to U HIV researcher

The $100,000 grant will go to a researcher exploring ways to block a protein in HIV, possibly decreasing HIV mutation rate.

The University of Minnesota has received $100,000 Grand Challenges Exploration grant, from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation , to support a research project studying a potential method to help eliminate AIDS. The project, titled âÄúMortalizing HIV âÄì A Novel Method to Help Eradicate AIDS,âÄù is being conducted by Associate Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics Professor Rueben Harris . The project was one of 81 grants awarded across the world by the Gates Foundation during the grantâÄôs second funding round. To receive the funding Harris showed in a two-page application how his idea might lead to significant advances in global health, according to a news release. Harris, who has been studying mutation mechanisms for more than 15 years, is testing a hypothesis that a certain human cellular protein contributes to the high mutation rates, enabling HIV to elude immune responses and ant-retroviral drugs, the release said. Interventions that block this protein could lead to more effective immune responses and HIV treatment, the release said. The Grand Challenges Exploration is a five-year, $100 million initiative to promote innovation in global health.