Two UD scientists helped make a new discovery about HIV - Delaware


Sep. 12, 2018 7:56 am

Two UD scientists helped make a new discovery about HIV

Juan Perilla and Chaoyi Xu ran supercomputer simulations to help identify a molecule that could lead to new treatments.

Test tubes.

(Photo by Pexels user Martin Lopez, used under a Creative Commons license)

A multi-institutional team that includes two members from the University of Delaware recently discovered new details about HIV, giving scientists a better understanding of the virus and potentially opening the door to new treatment options.

UDaily reports that UD’s Juan R. Perilla, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and doctoral student Chaoyi Xu were members of the team, which was led by Cornell University scientists and included scientists from Virginia and Missouri, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Germany and the Institute of Science and Technology in Austria. The team identified a small HIV molecule called IP6 and co-authored a study on it, published in the August issue of Nature.

From UDaily:

Perilla and UD doctoral student Chaoyi Xu, who are co-authors of the paper, conducted computational and analytical work for the research project, using supercomputers to model the capsid of the HIV virus and the role of IP6 in its assembly.

“Many experimental techniques are just a snapshot,” Perilla said. “With the computational microscope [the use of laboratory data in combination with supercomputers], you can actually see how things move.”

Perilla and Xu ran their simulations through the Extreme Science and Engineering Environment (XSEDE) project funded by the National Science Foundation, which allocates supercomputer resources to specific research problems.

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