Project: Detecting HIV RNA in reactivated latently infected T cells using flow cytometry and ViewRNA
In this project, we aim to determine whether the combination of HIV reactivating drugs together with pro-apoptotic drugs can selectively kill latently infected T cells. We will use a panel of known reactivation drugs together with a panel of pro-apoptotic drugs to treat primary cells infected with HIV and in patient derived samples. We will then investigate the amounts of viral RNA in latently infected cells and determine whether the drug combinations killed uninfected cells. During this project, the student will learn and apply a range of laboratory techniques including PC2 cell culture, flow cytometry and RNA staining using ViewRNA
Co-infections with viral or bacterial pathogens cause significant morbidity in people with HIV. In the case of HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV) co-infection, morbidity and mortality secondary to liver disease is greatly increased compared to those infected with HBV or HIV alone. Mortality remains elevated even after treating both HIV and HBV. The HBV Immunology group investigates the mechanism of how HIV can accelerate liver disease in patients co-infected with HBV. We hypothesise that this occurs by combined effects of HIV and HBV on inflammation in the liver. These studies could potentially lead to new treatments for liver disease.