After my PhD award in 2005 from USYD, I was a research fellow at WIMR for 7 years then a Co-Group Leader for the HIV Pathogenesis group in 2012-2017. In 2018, I have accepted a Senior Lecturer position in Applied Medical Sciences at USYD and I am leading the HIV Immunity and IFN Group, Centre for Virus Research, Westmead Institute for Medical Research since 2018. I am acknowledged as a leading HIV-macrophage (MQ) and HIV-dendritic cell (DC) researcher. Using systems biology approaches, I have made multiple contributions to understanding the biology of HIV interactions with MQ, DCs and epidermal Langerhans cells (eLCs). I was the first to show that eLCs transfer HIV to CD4 T-cells in two temporal phases. I have also driven discoveries of how HIV manipulates innate immunity by inhibiting interferon (IFN) production in DCs/MQs to avoid immune detection and be transmitted to CD4 T cells where IFN production is also inhibited. Recently, my team showed that IFN inhibition is reversed upon coculture with plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) which usually infiltrate inflamed sites. Surprisingly we found two divergent effects of IFN alpha (α) on HIV infection of myeloid and lymphoid cells: a decrease in HIV replication in DCs and MQs while in T cells, pDCs via IFNα increased HIV expression with evidence of HIV reactivation from latency.
HIV/AIDS, Immunology, Infection, Immunology, Microbiology and Virology