Research Projects (Third party funds)


A novel approach for eradicating HIV

Gilead Infectiology Programme 2016

Latently infected cells produce no viral products and remain invisible to the immune system. A “shock and kill” strategy of transcription induction (“shock”) with subsequent cell elimination (“kill”) has been proposed to reduce or even eradicate the HIV-1 reservoir. While reactivation of HIV-1 from the reservoir (shock) is mostly pursued by pharmacological interventions such as histone deacytelase inhibitors (HDACi), the elimination of cells which are in the process of reactivation (kill) is believed to be best achieved by immune-mediated mechanisms. Our proposed experiments are crucial to confirm autophagy as novel therapeutic targets in cells with incomplete reactivation of provirus. Our project provides an alternative to the predominantly immune-based strategies. The project has the potential to identify novel cellular pathways for efficient reduction of the HIV reservoir. An important translational aspect is that we focus on available and licensed compounds for rapid evaluation in patients/animal models if proven effective in the preclinical evaluation.


Prof. Georg Behrens, MHH


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