Infectious Disease
Infectious Disease
Viruses, bacteria and parasites are among the many infectious challenges humans face. At Salk we seek to understand infection and immunity in new ways, from finding novel techniques to image and decode the structure of infectious agents to treating pathogens less as enemies to be vanquished and more as potential allies on the road to health.

Advances in imaging technique and new insight into how HIV drugs work at atomic level

Assistant Professor Dmitry Lyumkis’ team uses and optimizes an advanced imaging technique called cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to visualize large protein complexes within cells and to uncover how these structures work. In the fall, Lyumkis and Philip Baldwin co-authored a study that provides a foundation for quantitatively determining how differences in viewing angles affect the resulting 3D structures of proteins. Then, in January, Lyumkis, Salk co-first author Dario Passos and colleagues reported on how a powerful class of HIV drugs binds to a key piece of HIV machinery. By resolving this complex in 3D for the first time while different drugs were attached, the researchers discovered structural reasons for why these therapies are so potent.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Latest discoveries, events & more.