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Researching Retrovirals

A visit with Marc Johnson, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

By Tanya Sneddon
Published: - Topics: fish virus retrovirus HIV research virus

Deconstructing HIV

Topics: treatment Gag protein

While scientists have developed ways to treat HIV, they have yet to develop a cure for the devastating disease because they have not been able to kill every last infected cell. “HIV has our immune system’s ‘number.’ Our immune system cannot figure out that those are infected cells and that it needs to kill them.” The protein responsible for HIV virus replication is the Gag protein. Much of Johnson’s current work is focused on understanding how Gag orchestrates this replication, as this knowledge could be used to uncover a treatment capable of triggering the immune system’s response.