Luis Montaner, D.V.M., D.Phil., M.Sc.

Luis J. Montaner, D.V.M., D.Phil.


The Montaner Laboratory



Vice President, Scientific Operations

Herbert Kean, M.D., Family Professor

Director, HIV-1 Immunopathogenesis Laboratory

Professor, Immunology, Microenvironment & Metastasis Program

Associate Director for Shared Facilities, Wistar Cancer Center

Scientific Director, Biomedical Research Support Facility

Scientific Director, Flow Cytometry Facility

About the Scientist

Montaner studies the mechanisms of disease in HIV-1 infection, and explores new ways to boost the natural function of the immune system in order to combat infection or viral-associated disease.

Montaner obtained his D.V.M., Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in 1989, and his D.Phil. in Experimental Pathology at University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K., in 1995.  He joined The Wistar Institute in 1995 as an assistant professor and was promoted to professor in 2007.

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The Montaner Laboratory

At Wistar, the Montaner laboratory focuses on immune system-based research using laboratory models of virus infection, animal models of infection and or cancer, and clinical cohort studies to provide a clinic-to-bench research program that informs new strategies to combat HIV and or cancer.  The Montaner lab is also a leading center for a Martin Delaney Collaboratory focused on HIV cure-directed research (see  Patient and animal-based collaborative studies —and thus, their impact—extend from Philadelphia to multiple US states for coast-to-coast, Puerto Rico, Mexico, South America, and Southern Africa, and focus on:

  • identifying new strategies to reverse mechanisms of immunodeficiency caused by viral infection and/or cancer processes via testing new immune enhancing products.
  • exploring new ways to augment HIV-1 control beyond current therapies in order to achieve durable remission and or permanent control of infection without the need for continued antiretroviral therapy. 
  • understanding the natural ability of our immune system to respond to viruses and comparing that to the immune response of a rare subset of people who are exposed to—yet uninfected by—HIV-1 or are infected yet retain an inherent ability to control their HIV-1 infection.

Watch this video to learn more about HIV cure research.


Senior Staff Scientists

Livio Azzoni, M.D., Ph.D.
Emmanouil Papasavvas, Ph.D.
Costin Tomescu, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Yanhui Cai, Ph.D.
Krystal Colon-Rivera, Ph.D.
Xue Yang, Ph.D.

Research Assistants

Matthew Fair
Brian Ross
Surya Vadrevu

Clinical Coordinator

Ken Lynn, R.N.

BSL-3 Laboratory Manager

Agnes Mackiewicz

BEAT-HIV Project Manager/Lab Coordinator

Beth Peterson


The Montaner lab pursues a variety of projects at any given time related to the understanding and eventual cure of the HIV-1 virus.

Current Projects

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View a list of current projects being pursued by the Montaner lab and its many collaborators.

Previous Projects

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View a list of previous projects pursued by the Montaner lab.

The mission of the BEAT-HIV Collaboratory is to define the most effective way to combine immunotherapy regimens to cure HIV.

Learn more about BEAT-HIV

Lab Events and Photos

Montaner Lab Event Photos

Selected Publications

Abdel-Mohsen, M., Kuri-Cervantes, L., Montanerm L.J., et al. "CD32 is expressed on cells with transcriptionally active HIV but does not enrich for HIV DNA in resting T cells." Sci Transl Med. 2018 Apr 18;10(437). pii: eaar6759. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aar6759.

Abdulhaqq, S.A., Zorrilla, C., Montaner, L.J., et al. "HIV-1-negative female sex workers sustain high cervical IFNɛ, low immune activation, and low expression of HIV-1-required host genes." Mucosal Immunol. 2016 Jul;9(4):1027-38. doi: 10.1038/mi.2015.116. Epub 2015 Nov 11.

Tomescu, C., Mavilio, D., Montaner, L.J., et al. "Lysis of HIV-1-infected autologous CD4+ primary T cells by interferon-alpha-activated NK cells requires NKp46 and NKG2D." AIDS. 2015 Sep 10;29(14):1767-73. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000000777.

Patro, S.C., Pal, S., Montaner, L.J., et al. "Shift in monocyte apoptosis with increasing viral load and change in apoptosis-related ISG/Bcl2 family gene expression in chronically HIV-1-infected subjects." J Virol. 2015 Jan;89(1):799-810. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02382-14. Epub 2014 Oct 29.

Tomescu, C., Liu, Q., Montaner, L.J., et al. "A correlate of HIV-1 control consisting of both innate and adaptive immune parameters best predicts viral load by multivariable analysis in HIV-1 infected viremic controllers and chronically-infected non-controllers." PLoS One. 2014 Jul 31;9(7):e103209. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103209. eCollection 2014.

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