Dr. Donald Forthal, chief of Infectious Diseases in the UC Irvine Department of Medicine, will receive $427,000 for two years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study how antibodies can inhibit HIV, the retrovirus that can lead to AIDS. Forthal is part of a national effort to study how the body’s immune system can be harnessed to produce an effective HIV vaccine; the search has hit numerous roadblocks because the virus is extremely effective at shielding itself from the effects of antibodies. This “return to basics,” Forthal says, represents a renewed effort to understand how vaccines can successively target this elusive, deadly virus.