Focus 1

Lead Investigator: Louis Picker
Follicular disruption and CMV vector combination regimens

Studies have shown that SIV/HIV is enriched in T follicular helper (TFH) cells and that this enrichment occurs in part because these cells largely reside in the B cell follicle, which may be an immune sanctuary for the virus during otherwise suppressive ART. The goal of this research focus is to explore this possibility in monkeys.

Focus 2

Lead Investigator: Peter Hunt
Characterization, quantification and measurement of HIV in tissues

This research focus aims to characterize the distribution of replication competent virus in lymphoid tissues of HIV infected adults on ART. In collaboration with our industry partner, Merck, we are also working to develop an imaging approach to quantify the activity, size, and total body representation of the replicating reservoir in these tissues.

Focus 3

Lead Investigator: Sharon Lewin
Define the role of immune checkpoints and their blockade on T cell function in monkeys and people

Our research team has worked hard to define the impact of immune checkpoint blockers such as PD-1, CTLA-4, LAG-3 and TIGIT on latent reservoir. The goal of this research focus is to define how interruption of these pathways affects latency and HIV-specific T cell response.

Focus 4

Lead Investigator: Steve Deeks
Safety, immunogenicity, and anti-HIV effectiveness of a human CMV (HCMV) vectored HIV vaccine

The CMV vaccine has been shown to have the capacity to fully control and perhaps eliminate replication-competent SIV in a subset of monkeys. We will perform the first study in humans assessing the safety and immunogenicity of the CMV/HIV vaccine as a potential cure-related therapy.