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GEN’s editorial staff interviews life science academic and biotech industry leaders on important research, technology, and trends. These podcasts will keep you informed with all the important details you need.

Scientists at the University of California San Francisco and the University of Toronto say they have identified a potential new way of fighting against HIV infection. Their approach, which might aid in vaccine development by possibly solving the virus' rapid mutation capability, relies on the remnants of ancient viruses, human endogenous retroviruses (HERV), which have become part of the genome of every human cell.

During this week's podcast, UCSF's Dr. Keith Garrison describes the novel strategy for fighting HIV infection. He discusses the relationship between HIV and HERV and why his group chose to target these retroviruses.

Dr. Garrison also addresses the issue of why targeting HERV might lead to a potential AIDS vaccine and help solve the mutation problem characteristic of HIV. In addition, he talks about his team’s future goals for moving the research project forward.

Listen to the podcast then return to the blog to give your thoughts on the following question:

How promising do you think a vaccine containing HERV antigens would be in the battle against HIV infection?

Or, if you prefer, post your own topic on the biotech industry subject of your choice. Please share your opinions and observations.

Dr. Keith E. Garrison has been a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco since 2005. He works in the laboratory of Dr. Douglas F. Nixon, M.D., Ph.D. in the Division of Experimental Medicine. Dr. Garrison works on a number of projects in the laboratory involving T cell immunity to endogenous retroviruses. Dr. Garrison received his Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of California, Davis working in the laboratory of Prof. Carole P. Meredith.

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