CURRENT RESEARCH INTERESTS
Studying primate immune systems through an evolutionary lens allows us to observe how these species have been shaped by their interactions with viral pathogens. I am particularly interested in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). Unlike humans infected with HIV, many natural hosts of SIV do not develop AIDS-like symptoms despite high viral loads. These particular species are referred as “non-progressors”. Understanding how these non-progressor species are able to co-exist with SIV is a major research aim of the Sterner Lab and a specific interest of mine. Over the past year and a half I have been involved in a number of research projects that seek to identify genetic differences between progressor and non-progressor species. In addition to identifying genetic (and regulatory) differences between progressor and non-progressor species, I am also interested in understanding the role that the microbiome plays in SIV infection in progressive and non-progressive species.