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HIV-AIDS Post Graduate Research

Title: HIV-1 vaccination: Identifying optimal immunogens

Viik250 Arden Dierker Viik, Mphil

Improved use of prime-boost vaccination with Envelope immunogens is the currently the leading vaccine. On rare occasions, broadly neutralising monoclonal antibodies (bnAbs) have been found in individuals with HIV-1. These bnAbs are potent and prevent the progression of HIV to AIDS. They target glycoproteins on the HIV envelope, gp120 and gp41 that are necessary for fusion. The current vaccination strategy attempts to initiate the induction of such bnAbs by vaccinating with portions of gp120 and gp41, in hopes of driving antibody (Ab) production against these regions. There are currently phase-II clinical vaccine trials being conducted to determine the most successful vaccination strategy. My project is to identify the antibody correlates which best correlate with the first successful HIV-1 vaccine efficacy trial.

Supervisor: Professor Jonathan L Heeney
October 2014 to February 2016
Funding: Wellcome Trust

HIV-1 vaccination: Identifying mucosal B-cell immune correlates

Gorinix250PhD student: Giacomo Gorini

This project is aims to describe the mucosal antibody responses elicited by ALVAC-gp120 vaccination challenge model. In particular, the focus on the Fc region of SIV/gp120 V1/V2-specific antibodies cloned from the mucosa of individuals protected from infection, and aim to define how different Fc profiles correlate with protection.

October 2014 – present
Funding: National Institutes of Health
Supervisors: Professor Jonathan L Heeney & Dr Genoveffa Franchini