There is currently no cure for the more than 350 million patients suffering from chronic hepatitis B infection. Su, a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, will lead a cooperative effort between UNC and the University of Chicago to use mouse models developed with human immune and liver cells to determine if a combination of monoclonal antibodies and novel vaccines can cure HBV infection and create long-term immunity to the virus.
The hepatitis B virus’s ability to shield itself from the body’s immune system is key to its resistance to existing treatments. Researchers intend to use the humanized mouse model to build a better understanding of the way in which HBV infections develop into chronic infection, immune responses, fibrosis/cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Date: July 19, 2013