Andrew D. Badley, M.D., Director
The HIV Research Laboratory is involved in studying the effects of viral proteins and viral infections on the regulation of the immune system. Focusing on cell death and survival signals, the HIV Research Laboratory's research has demonstrated ways in which HIV infection can modulate macrophage function to acquire a cytotoxic profile, which results in death of T cells. Similarly, evaluations of HIV specific proteins, HIV protease, and Vpr had led to insights into the control of T-cell survival following direct infection with HIV.
Recent advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology of a variety of disease states have led to an enhanced understanding of the ways in which cell death contributes to the pathology of a wide variety of disease states, including but not limited to autoimmune disease, inflammation, ischemic, neuronal and cardiac death, inflammatory bowel disease, and infectious disease pathologies. This understanding has opened the opportunity for novel therapeutic strategies aimed at modifying the cell death pathways. In this regard, the HIV Research Laboratory has been involved in the characterization of a variety of novel therapeutic agents, including those that just specifically inhibit apoptosis.
In addition to the laboratory based studies, the HIV Research Laboratory also has an interest in clinical HIV disease course. These interests include
- how therapies with different drug classes alter the immune response to effective antiretroviral therapy
- direct immunologic and cellular effects of anti-HIV therapies
- the phenomena of discordant responses to HIV therapy as well as long-term non progressive HIV disease