A scientist at the University of Ghana, Legon, has made a breakthrough in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that should help develop better drugs to fight the virus.
dr Jerry Joe Harrison, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (SPMS), has developed a formula that enables stable expression of HIV polyproteins.
Scientists explain that the HIV polyprotein, a key protein that helps HIV multiply and spread, must be stable before scientists can determine its structure. Scientists need to determine the structure of a virus in order to formulate medicinal compounds that can effectively fight it.
The University of Ghana, which posted news about the Ghanaian scientist’s breakthrough on its website, said the finding comes 40 years after HIV was discovered.
dr Harrison, with his collaborators at Rutgers University and the Salk Institute in the United States, has published cutting-edge research on his structural studies of the HIV polyprotein.
According to the University of Ghana, the paper, published in Science Advances, has received worldwide recognition.
Now that the molecular structure of this important protein has been elucidated, Drs. Jerry Joe Harrison, co-first author of the publication, and the US team of scientists believe that this will make an important contribution to the development of new anti-HIV drugs.