ST. LOUIS– With proof-of-principle in his pocket and a new $2.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), SLU scientist John Tavis, Ph.D., will take his 25 year mission to finally develop a cure for the hepatitis B virus into the next phase.
Tavis, who is professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Saint Louis University, says his team has built a warhead that will kill the virus; now, it’s time to design a cruise missile that will deliver the drug.
After exposure, the hepatitis B virus can linger, causing chronic infection in many people. Over time, the illness causes liver damage. While current treatments can suppress the virus, they cannot fully kill it, and it will return if treatments are stopped.