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Principal Investigators

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Associate Professor Nicolas Chomont is a researcher in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Université de Montréal – CHUM Research Center. His laboratory investigates the immunological mechanisms that contribute to the persistence of HIV infected cells during ART (T cell proliferation and survival) and how they can be modulated to accelerate the clearance of the reservoir. He co-leads DARE Research Focus 1, Objectives 1 and 2 with Dr. Lillie Cohn.

Lillian Cohn

Assistant Professor Lillian Cohn is a researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. Her laboratory uses systems immunology, virology, and molecular biology approaches to unravel the complex biology of HIV persistence.

She co-leads DARE Research Focus 1, Objectives 1 and 2 with Dr. Nicolas Chomont.

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Professor Jake Estes is an immunology researcher who studies humans and nonhuman primate models to better understand how HIV/SIV persists within tissue microenvironments. In particular, Dr. Estes utilizes innovative high-dimensional spatial approaches to characterize, quantify and map viral reservoirs at high resolution and depth, to investigate mechanisms of viral reservoir persistence at the single-cell level while retaining critically important contextual insight into the cellular compartments, immune neighborhoods and inflammatory landscapes in which viral reservoirs reside.

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Assistant Professor Gaurav Gaiha is a researcher at Harvard Medical School, Principal Investigator at the Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT and Harvard and Attending Physician in the Division of Gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He research works with a structure-based network analysis technology, which integrates network theory with protein structure data to define topologically important and mutationally constrained regions of viral proteins. He used this approach to identify key targets of CD8+ T cells in individuals who spontaneously control HIV.

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Professor Michael Gale, Jr. is a researcher in the Department of Immunology at The University of Washington, School of Medicine. He is the Director of the UW Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease (CIIID) and Associate Director of the Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (CERID). His lab leverages their research findings toward developing innate immune therapeutics for application in antiviral treatment and vaccine enhancement to combat HIV and emerging viruses, including SARS-CoV-2.

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Associate Professor Li is a researcher at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.  He leads an active clinical and translational laboratory research program focused on viral persistence, reservoirs and resistance, especially within the fields of HIV and COVID-19.  Dr. Li is the Director of the Harvard/Brigham Virology Specialty Laboratory, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital ID Fellowship Research Director, the Director of the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research Clinical Core, and a member of the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel. 

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Professor Mathias Lichterfeld is an infectious disease physician at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His work focuses on understanding HIV-1 persistence despite ART and on developing clinical approaches for finding a cure for HIV-1 infection.

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Associate Professor Afam Okoye is a researcher at the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute and the Division of Pathobiology and Immunology, Oregon National Primate Research Center, Oregon Health & Science University. His research focuses on utilizing nonhuman primate models to understand the barriers to HIV eradication during antiretroviral therapy (ART) and to develop therapeutic approaches aimed at achieving durable remission from virus replication after ART withdrawal. He co-leads DARE Research Focus 2 with Professor Louis Picker.

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Associate Professor Rachel Rutishauser is a researcher in the Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine at UCSF. Her laboratory leverages high-dimensional single cell and functional genomics approaches to study the regulation of HIV-specific CD8+ T cell exhaustion and functional capacity in natural HIV infection and after therapeutic intervention (e.g., therapeutic vaccination and CAR-T cell therapy). She co-leads DARE Research Focus 1, Objective 3 with Associate Professor Lydie Trautmann.

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Professor Robert F. Siliciano is a professor of Medicine and Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  In 1995, his laboratory provided the first demonstration that latently infected memory CD4+ T cells were present in patients with HIV-1 infection. 

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Associate Professor Xu Yu is a core member of the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT and Harvard, and an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her laboratory focuses on understanding molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the immune control of viral infection, with a focus on exploring cell-intrinsic immune defense mechanisms, as well as immune-mediated evolution of proviral landscape in people living with HIV.

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