ABOUT THE RESEARCHER

OVERVIEW

Anna Aldovini has a long-standing interest in the molecular biology of HIV and AIDS. The two goals of the laboratory are to improve understanding of HIV host-pathogen interactions and to develop new approaches to HIV/AIDS vaccines.

The approaches to vaccine development that have emerged from her laboratory aim at establishing an immunization regimen capable of stimulating both systemic and mucosal humoral and cell mediated immunity. Ongoing experiments are evaluating the effectiveness of mucosal DNA vaccination administered via different routes, how vaccine-induced immunity can be improved, and how an immunization regimen that involves different mucosal and systemic routes can provide high levels of systemic and mucosal responses within the same animal and contribute to protection from AIDS. The results of should be important not only for an AIDS vaccine development but also for the development of DNA vaccines for other mucosal pathogens.

Studies in the area of HIV host-pathogen interactions are focused on investigating the issue of persistent immune activation during suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART). Pharmacological intervention to reduce immune activation have been explored and the lab is interested in investigating the cause of persistent immune activation during ART, and more specifically to evaluate whether additional reservoir sources of HIV and SIV, originating from cells different than resting CD4+ T-cells, contribute to viral rebound after ART interruption.

BACKGROUND

Dr. Aldovini obtained her MD from the University of Padua Medical School, Italy, where she also did her residency in Oncology. Subsequently she was a Fogarty Fellow at the N.I.H. in Bethesda, MD, and then a Research Scientist at the Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, MA.