CANCELLED — Translating Studies of HIV Immunity to SARS-CoV-2
Dr. Julie Overbaugh studies HIV. She is particularly interested in factors that influence HIV transmission. She has been involved in decades-long research studies in Kenya that focus on HIV transmission, from mother to infant and in sex workers. In the 1990s, Dr. Overbaugh was part of the team that highlighted the risk of HIV transmission in breast milk, giving HIV-positive mothers important information that could protect their children. Drawing on samples collected during this groundbreaking trial, Dr. Overbaugh has also outlined characteristics of a mother’s immune response against HIV that can protect her infant, and she charted aspects of the infant immune response that could help improve HIV vaccine design. Her research in sex workers highlighted the role that other infections play in shaping the number of HIV variants that hop from one person to another. Her team also studied how the immune system responds when a person already infected with HIV is infected a second time with a new strain.
Understanding protective immunity to viral infections is critical to informing approaches to prevention. There is accumulating evidence that antibodies that bind viral entry proteins and mediate killing of infected cells may contribute to protection from infection and disease. Data to support this will be presented for HIV, with emphasis on pediatric infections. This lecture will also highlight how findings from these studies of immunity to HIV can inspire similar questions related to SARS-CoV-2. Studies will be presented on antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2, focused on binding epitopes outside of the well-studied responses to the receptor binding domain and the pathways the virus can use to escape these responses.
- To gain knowledge on what types of antibodies are associated with protection from HIV infection and disease in humans.
- To have a more comprehensive view of the epitopes of the SARS-CoV-2 viral entry protein (Spike) that are targeted by the immune system.
- To gain an appreciation of how studies of HIV have inspired and facilitated work on SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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