My research focuses on understanding the immunopathogenesis of chronic persistent virus infections in humans with a focus on two socially important virus infections:
- HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and
- HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) infection
Both are almost certain to supersede small pox infection in terms of global human morbidity and mortality.
The research explores host and parasite (evasion) immunologic mechanisms that lead to viral persistence with the goal of defining new immunotherapies and vaccines in HIV and HCV infection.
The work is translational and utilizes human clinical samples at the bedside from individuals who are well characterized in terms of their ability to control virus and associated pathology (CD4 count for HIV, chronic hepatitis for HCV), which are then intensively studied at the bench using the disciplines of cellular and molecular immunology and virology.
The work is multi-disciplinary, in which collaborations are developed between clinicians, epidemiologists, virologists, immunologists and bioinformatics biologists.
Specific interests include studies on T cell immunoregulation in HIV and HCV infection, molecular adjuvants for vaccination, pDC-virus interactions, and the role of endogenous retroviruses in HIV infection.