Prof. Reuben Harris

Reuben Harris

Reuben Harris, IMV Co-Director and professor in the University of Minnesota's College of Biological Sciences, has been awarded a five-year, $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to direct a large-scale research effort to study a human antiviral protein with potential for treating HIV and other viral diseases.

The goal of the study will be to produce atomic resolution images of the protein (APOBEC3G) to better understand how it interacts with other proteins in human cells and with HIV to prevent the virus from attaching to and entering cells. This fundamental knowledge could lead to novel methods to alter this protein to make it more effective.

“You have to understand the nuts and bolts of the system before you can make alterations to interfere with the process,” says Harris, an associate professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysics. “I’m very optimistic that this will research will enable us to use this novel protein against HIV and other diseases.”