Centers for HIV Structural Biology

The Centers for HIV Structural Biology, established in 2007 by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), integrate a variety of techniques from structural biology, biochemistry and cell biology to capture in unprecedented detail the three-dimensional structures of HIV proteins and nucleic acids and their interactions with cellular components. This information will help elucidate how the different components interact and reveal new approaches for disrupting those interactions, potentially leading to new targets for HIV therapies and preventive vaccines.

The Center awards were transferred from NIGMS to NIAID in 2019 as a part of the consolidation of AIDS basic research projects in the NIAID Division of AIDS. The program was continued in 2022 with the funding of six new Centers. The Centers include research across the HIV life cycle, aiming, for example, to elucidate the mechanism the HIV envelope protein uses to enter a target cell, the interactions of virus structures with host proteins that either facilitate or antagonize infection, and the way that the HIV RNA genome folds into complex assemblies with other viral components before being packaged into newly formed virions. 

Main Areas of Focus

  • Structural Biology of HIV, molecular complexes, and HIV / host cell complexes including proteins, nucleic acids and pharmacologic inhibitors.
  • Identification of new host cell factors involved in HIV replication and restriction
  • Identification of new targets for anti-HIV drug development and vaccine design



RFA-AI-21-030: Centers for HIV Structural Biology (U54)
RFA-AI-22-050: Molecular Dynamics of HIV (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
NIAID Funding News: Molecular Dynamics of HIV Funding Opportunity 


2024 HIV Structural Biology Meeting
Monday, June 24 - Tuesday, June 25, 2024
NIH Natcher Conference Center
Bethesda, MD

The annual meeting is convened as a part of the Centers for HIV Structural Biology program. It features presentations from the Centers, invited lectures and short talks selected from submitted abstracts. Poster sessions are held each day to encourage networking and collaboration among HIV cellular, molecular and structural biologists.

The meeting is free and open to all. Anyone with an interest in HIV-related structural biology may attend and have an opportunity to present experimental findings.

Contact Information

David McDonald, PhD, Basic Sciences Program, Division of AIDS, NIAID

Content last reviewed on