PhD, Honours, Masters

Despite the ability of HIV to shut down IFNβ production in the cells of first contact, IFNα is produced by plasmacytoid DCs (pDC) that migrate to the genital mucosa early after initial infection. IFNα is an important early defense against HIV infection. We hypothesize that by shutting down IFNβ induction in its initial target cells the virus is able to undergo efficient replication. Later, pDCs arrive at the site of infection and produce IFNα. This project examines whether the production of IFNα compensates for the loss of IFNβ and whether it will reduce HIV infection of infected myeloid DCs and different subsets of T cells (resting and activated).

Methodology: Isolation of different types of DCs, monocytes and T cells from blood and tissues, cell culture and viral production, PCRs, Flow Cytometry, ELISA, HIV infectivity assays.


Supervisor: Dr Najla Nasr
Co-supervisors: Pr Anthony L Cunningham

Contact: Najla Nasr -