Grant for virus study

Royal Perth Hospital researcher Professor Martyn French is investigating a way to combat HIV.
Royal Perth Hospital researcher Professor Martyn French is investigating a way to combat HIV.

The Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) immunologist and researcher will investigate the possibility of using an antibody to trigger natural immune responses to fight HIV.

Professor French is one of 131 researchers who received about $6 million as part of the latest round of the State Government�s Medical and Health Research Infrastructure Fund grants, which will go towards the project.

�While only in its early stages, this research could assist in the development of a vaccine for HIV sufferers,� Prof French said.

�Presently there is no cure for HIV.

�Patients are able to stay well for 20 to 30 years, but unfortunately once HIV is contracted, continuous drug treatment is the only way to control the virus.�

The project is the first investigation into the particular type of antibody, which activates cells in the body to produce molecules to fight the virus.

�The grant from the Medical and Health Research Infrastructure Fund will allow my team and I to expand on four years� worth of work funded in part by the Medical Research Foundation of Royal Perth Hospital,� Prof French said.

The grant for Prof French will be used to purchase specialist laboratory equipment.