Research Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
The focus of my laboratory is on genetic and functional aspects of SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1 infection and antiviral immune responses against these viruses. We are characterizing newly emerging viral strains and recombinant forms, genomic and clinical features of vaccine escape, immune correlates of protection/disease progression, and mechanisms of drug resistance.
We are studying global viral infections with a focus on New York, one of the hardest hit cities during the early SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and West and Central Africa, the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic, where the broadest variety of HIV strains exists, and where a high number of co-infections and increasing rates of SARS-CoV-2 infections occur. My colleagues and I are managing a cohort of HIV-1 infected individuals in Cameroon to investigate emerging viruses, recombinant forms, and immune profiles induced by circulating HIV and SARS-CoV-2 strains.
Our work involves extensive genotypic, phylogenetic, and immunologic studies. HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 whole-genome sequence analyses determine genotype-phenotype associations in conjunction with cross-sectional and longitudinal antibody immune response patterns. Furthermore, we study cases of superinfection and epidemiologically-linked infection. Through these studies, we aim to obtain a deeper understanding of viral-host interaction and antiviral immune responses, to eventually gain knowledge for vaccine design and the better management of viral infections. We are also engaged in unraveling mechanisms of drug-resistance mutations in SARS-CoV-2 as well as HIV-1 non-B clades that are most abundant worldwide but understudied compared to clade B viruses, predominant in the USA and Europe.
Our group is committed to scientific discovery and supports the training of doctoral fellows and visiting students from the U.S. and abroad in virologic research, including African students, through participation in international research training programs.
EBioMedicine. 2022 Jul 07; 104141
Journal of clinical investigation. 2021 Sep 15; 131(18):
Cell reports. Medicine. 2021 Jun 15; 2(6):100290
Nature communications. 2022 02 16; 13(1):903
Nature microbiology. 2021 Oct; 6(10):1245-1258
PLoS pathogens. 2021 May; 17(5):e1009571
Microorganisms. 2021 Jun 27; 9(7):
Journal of racial & ethnic health disparities. 2023 Jun 30;