REHOVOT (Jul. 11)
Two Weizmann Institute researchers, Prof. Michael Sela, head of the Institute’s Chemical Immunology Department, and Prof. David Givol of the same department, have received over $300,000 in grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the U.S. National Institutes of Health for studies on various aspects of immunology.
Prof. Sela, with co-investigators Dr. Sara Fuchs and Edna Mozes, received a five-year grant of $227,500 in order to elucidate the mechanism which determines the genetic control of the immune response, and also delve into the phenomenon of autoimmunity. They will be using for this purpose simple synthetic antigens developed in Prof. Sela’s laboratory.
Prof. Givol, who received a three-year grant of $80,000, will be focussing on the structure of the antibody combining site, the place where the antibody and its mortal enemy, the antigen, come together. Prof. Givol has already been able to isolate that small fragment of the molecule which contains the combining site, and has demonstrated the possibility of specific labelling of that site.
These studies of immunological problems involving both antigens and antibodies, will, it is hoped contribute to a better understanding of the immune response. This in turn may hold the key to controlling many diseases and facilitating transplants.