Retroviral Pathogenesis Section

Overview

The Retroviral Pathogenesis Section conducts both in vitro and in vivo research to improve the basic understanding of AIDS virus pathogenesis through applied and basic studies. Applied studies evaluate candidate vaccines and other prevention approaches, along with studies of novel drug and immunotherapeutic interventions to target virus that persists despite sustained suppressive antiretroviral drug treatment.  Basic studies characterize fundamental processes of virus–host interactions that could be relevant to prevention and treatment. 

Focus

Nonhuman primate models 

  • Develop and apply  improved nonhuman primate models for studies of: 
    • Vaccine and non-vaccine approaches for prevention of AIDS virus infection. 
    • Antiretroviral drug treatment and immunotherapy. 
    • Mechanisms of viral persistence despite suppressive antiretroviral therapy. 
    • Approaches for targeting rebound competent persistent viral reservoirs. 

Better understanding AIDS virus infection 

  • Study the structure of viral molecules involved in infection. 
  • Evaluate the interaction of viral particles with immune system cells. 
  • Characterize the virus-host interactions associated with situations of effective host control of replication, including vaccine-induced protection. 

AIDS virus prevention and treatment studies 

  • Evaluate candidate vaccine and treatment approaches in vitro and in vivo.  
  • Study treatment approaches including immunogens, adjuvants, and modes of immunization.