Yale Researchers Awarded $3.5 Million to Study Hepatitis C

Two Yale scientists have received a $3.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study hepatitis C virus (HCV), a deadly pathogen that attacks the liver and afflicts about 170 million people worldwide.

Anna Marie Pyle, the William Edward Gilbert Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Brett Lindenbach, assistant professor of microbial pathogenesis, will use the money to study the molecular underpinnings of HCV.

Current treatments for HCV are poorly tolerated in patients and effective only in a minority. The team hopes to dissect the critical features of viral replication in hopes of laying the groundwork for a new generation of therapies.

The team goal is to develop a functional replication complex for HCV in the lab, which in turn can be used to identify targets for new drugs.

“The success of the work will depend upon the coordinated efforts of chemists, biochemists, and viral geneticists,” Pyle said.

Nearly 2 percent of the U.S. population has been infected by HCV, which can cause chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure.

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Bill Hathaway: william.hathaway@yale.edu, 203-432-1322