Combating Killer Cells

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Unraveling the mystery killers of our species ...

Indian Institute of Technology in Biology
Professors at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore assist in unraveling the mysteries of disease.

AsiaHIV/AIDS remains a killer, ravaging world populations, still at large with no known cure. The borderless world of infectious diseases requires an international army of molecular biologists superbly trained and fiercely committed to finding a way to neutralize this and other potent pathogens.

Oswego researchers have joined the vital effort toward production of a vaccine to prevent HIV infection. Ground zero for this biologically focused Global Laboratory is the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore where the daily battle focuses on understanding the behavior of HIV, the causative agent of AIDS.


Conventional approaches to controlling infectious diseases use inactivated or weakened virus vaccines to stimulate the production of neutralizing antibodies that prevent infection. Unfortunately, protein molecules on the surface of HIV undergo frequent mutations, and are highly unstable, thus preventing the immune system from producing neutralizing antibodies. This presents a key scientific challenge to the goal of producing an effective and globally accessible HIV vaccine.

Promising international work in microbiology focuses on how to produce protein structures that will stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies that prevent HIV from infecting healthy cells. With opportunities to study the production of such proteins and their ability to elicit an immune response in animal models, students in the microbiology-focused Global Laboratory work toward defeating one of the biggest and deadliest pandemics of our time.

In pursuing research that infuses their own lives with knowledge and meaning, student researchers seek solutions that can save millions of other lives.

Protein folding plays a critical role in unraveling the mysteries of creating a protective HIV vaccine.