Researchers aim for better vaccines, medicines
Rachel Roper, right, and lab technician Gwen Jones
(9/4/15) — Scientists at East Carolina University are taking a closer look at the intercellular war that goes on between viruses and the human immune system in an effort to design better drugs to target the germs.
Rachel Roper, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU, is a principal investigator on a National Institutes of Health grant totaling nearly $2.6 million to study the human-virus interaction.
“There’s a competition between a virus and the immune system as to which can amplify itself fast enough to beat the other,” Roper said. “If the virus wins, the human dies. If the immune system wins, the virus is -- usually -- eliminated from the body.”