Solutions to HIV examined through graduate work

Zack Jordan

Research for making a specific chemical bond to fill a space to prevent HIV from attaching itself to cells was revealed at an HIV seminar in Sequoia Hall at Sacramento State.

Chemistry professor Cynthia Kellen-Yuen said the reason for the seminar on Friday is because as a graduate student at Sac State, it is important to make a lesson plan outside of research completed and be able to teach it to a class to be evaluated.

“They are supposed to synthesize it, that’s the part that we are evaluating. Can they take all these disparate pieces and put it together and communicate it to us?” said Kellen-Yuen. “That’s the mark of the true science.”

Campbell said the closest they have come to finding a prevention of HIV is with a bond called 19a, which gives more hydrogen bonds in the protease, where HIV bonds to, giving it more prevention for the disease. This development is also one of the more recent ones she said and was developed in 2013.

“There are currently over 30 million people infected with it world-wide,” said Campbell. “It can lie dormant and simply be replicated as part of the host cell through subsequent cycles or it can continue the viral cycle infecting more cells.”

Biochemistry professor Tom Savage said Campbell graduated with a degree in biochemistry from UC Davis back in 2011 and started her graduate program at Sac State in 2013.

“It’s been a delight to have her in the lab. Not only from her expertise coming in but she’s also provided some organizational strengths,” said Savage.