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Andrea Cox Lab
Research in the Andrea Cox Lab explores the immune response in chronic viral infections, with a focus on HIV and the hepatitis C virus (HCV). In our studies, we examine the role of the immune response upon exposure to HCV by examining responses to HCV in a longitudinal, prospective group of high-risk individuals. This enables us to compare the innate, humoral and cellular immune responses to infection with clearance versus persistence. Through our findings, we seek to identify mechanisms of protective immunity against HCV infection and improve HCV vaccine design.
The Anna Durbin Lab evaluates experimental vaccines through human clinical trials. We have conducted both pediatric and adult clinical trials on vaccines for HIV, hepatitis C, HPV, influenza, malaria, dengue virus, rotavirus and other viruses. We also have a longstanding interest in better understanding the immunologic factors of dengue infection and disease. We’re working to identify the viral, host and immunologic factors that cause severe dengue illness.
Balagopal Lab - Viral Hepatitis and Translational Virology
The Balagopal Lab has adapted high-resolution tools to study viruses in situ. Specifically, we were the first to quantify hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in single hepatocytes by developing single-cell laser capture microdissection (scLCM) and integrating this tool with highly sensitive quantitative real-time PCR. We reported that HCV infects a minority of hepatocytes that are found in geospatial clusters. More recently, we (PIs Balagopal and Thio) integrated scLCM with droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) to reveal the first observations of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection at single cell resolution in the liver. We found that HBV infects nearly all hepatocytes prior to antiviral therapy. However, during antiviral therapy, HBV infection is diminished while viral transcription is markedly attenuated.
Our lab has also focused on HIV-1 infection and immune activation for over a decade. Most recently, we have studied type 1 interferon responses to HIV-1 using RNA sequencing (RNAseq). Using th...is technology, we identified novel interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) that are associated with HIV-1 restriction in vivo. view more
Chloe Thio Lab
Research in the Chloe Thio lab focuses on several areas. First, HBV virology and immunology in HBV monoinfected and HIV-HBV co-infected individuals that will ultimately help develop a cure for HBV. Second, HCV infection in men who have sex with men. Third, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with a focus on HIV-infected individuals. Fourth, host genetic determinants of spontaneous HBV recovery and HCV clearance.
Christine Durand Lab
Dr. Christine Durand, assistant professor of medicine and oncology and member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, is involved in clinical and translational research focused on individuals infected with HIV and hepatitis C virus who require cancer and transplant therapies. Her current research efforts include looking at outcomes of hepatitis C treatment after solid organ transplant, the potential use of organs from HIV-infected donors for HIV-infected solid organ transplant candidates, and HIV cure strategies including bone marrow transplantation.
Dr. Durand is supported by multiple grants:
• R01 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to study HIV-to-HIV organ transplantation in the US.
• K23 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to study antiretroviral therapy during bone marrow transplant in HIV-1 infection.
• U01 from the NIAID to study HIV-to-HIV deceased donor kidney transplantation.
U01 from the NIAID to study HIV-to-HIV deceased ...donor liver transplantation. view more
David Thomas Lab
The David Thomas Lab oversees clinical research projects that aim to understand the natural history and pathogenesis of hepatitis C virus infection. A special area of clinical and research focus is liver disease in HIV-infected people.
Ernesto Freire Laboratory
The Ernesto Freire Lab studies the use of novel drugs to treat disease. Our research has resulted in the development of a thermodynamic platform for drug discovery and optimization. Our aim is to achieve high binding affinity and selectivity as well as appropriate pharmacokinetics with the platform. We are currently focusing on drug targets such as HIV/-1 protease inhibitors (HIV/AIDS), plasmepsin inhibitors (malaria), HCV protease inhibitors (hepatitis C), coronavirus 3CL-pro protease inhibitors (SARS and other viral infections), HIV-1 gp120 inhibitors (HIV/AIDS), chymase inhibitors (cardiovascular disease) and beta lactamase inhibitors (antibiotic resistance).
Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry
Geetanjali Chander Lab
Our research focuses at the nexus of HIV and alcohol and other substance use. We examine epidemiological aspects of HIV and alcohol use/other drug use among persons with HIV (PWH), and work on the adaptation and testing of person and computer-delivered interventions for unhealthy alcohol use, particularly among women.
Gregory Kirk Lab
Research in the Gregory Kirk Lab examines the natural history of viral infections — particularly HIV and hepatitis viruses — in the U.S. and globally. As part of the ALIVE (AIDS Linked to the Intravenous Experience) study, our research looks at a range of pathogenetic, clinical behavioral issues, with a special focus on non-AIDS-related outcomes of HIV, including cancer and liver and lung diseases. We use imaging and clinical, genetic, epigenetic and proteomic methods to identify and learn more about people at greatest risk for clinically relevant outcomes from HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections. Our long-term goal is to translate our findings into targeted interventions that help reduce the disease burden of these infections.
Research in the Justin Bailey Lab explores immune responses against hepatitis C virus (HCV), particularly neutralizing antibody responses, with the goal of guiding vaccine development against the virus. Recent studies have demonstrated that early and broad neutralizing antibody (nAb) responses against HCV are associated with HCV clearance, suggesting a key role for nAb in limiting HCV replication. The findings of this research will enhance understanding of how HIV infection may contribute to the lower rate of HCV clearance in HCV/HIV coinfected individuals, and the results could have implications for persistence of other viruses commonly occurring as coinfections with HIV.