Lab In The News
Why a promising new approach to HIV prevention could lose funding
A battle is brewing in the HIV research world about the best way to prevent HIV transmission. On one side are drugs that target the tissue where exposure to the virus occurs — think a gel or douche. On the other is a whole-body approach. Think a pill or a shot.
Semen may help prevent HIV infection in women: study
Repeated exposure to semen can alter vaginal tissue immune cells that are prime targets for HIV, reducing chances of infection, according to new research out of Philadelphia’s Wistar Institute and the University of Puerto Rico.
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 beat-hiv.org). 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.
Yanhui Cai, Ph.D.
Krystal Colon-Rivera, Ph.D.
Xue Yang, Ph.D.
Ken Lynn, R.N.
BSL-3 Laboratory Manager
BEAT-HIV Project Manager/Lab Coordinator
The Montaner lab pursues a variety of projects at any given time related to the understanding and eventual cure of the HIV-1 virus.
View a list of current projects being pursued by the Montaner lab and its many collaborators.
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.