The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


15 Feb 2017

HIV transmission, immunity and vaccine development

Add to my calendar 20/02/2017 3:46 pm 20/02/2017 4:46 am Australia/Melbourne HIV transmission, immunity and vaccine development Auditorium DD/MM/YYYY

20 Feb 2017


Professor Nancy Haigwood from Oregon Health and Science Univeristy, USA, will present on HIV transmission, immunity and vaccine development.

Professor Haigwood's laboratory has a long-standing interest in the HIV Envelope glycoprotein (Env) that has led to a current focus in three overlapping areas of research: 1) neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) directed to the HIV and SIV Env; 2) mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV/SIV; and 3) HIV vaccine development. Env glycoproteins play a major role in immunity and host defense in the primate lentiviruses. Her group has investigated the role of SIV and HIV Envelope-specific NAbs in immune control and as potential therapeutic entities in nonhuman primate (NHP) models. In 1991, they were the first to show that NAbs in human subjects with broad activity are directed to conformational determinants. They have used nonhuman primate (NHP) models to test passive treatment with NAbs (IgG) during acute infection. Importantly, the presence of NAbs during acute SIV infection accelerated the development of effective NAbs, a novel finding that has implications for both vaccines and for therapies. She studies HIV-1 in humans and SIV and SHIV in NHPs to explore the development of NAbs in relationship to changing Env variants. She is also seeking to understand the role of NAbs in HIV mother to child transmission (MTCT) and has shown that NAbs have a novel role in controlling viremia and enhancing B cell responses in vivo, resulting in significant protection from disease. These studies provide evidence for additional beneficial roles for NAbs beyond direct protection, such as preventing establishment of the viral reservoir.  This establishes a new paradigm for antibodies in the antiviral approaches.

For all enquiries, please contact Stephan Kaiser.