Brad Jones, Ph.D.Assistant Professor of Immunology in Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.
Cytotoxic T-cells (CTL) represent an arm of the immune system that specializes in recognizing and eliminating virus-infected cells. In untreated infection, these cells play a critical role in delaying the progression of HIV to AIDS but ultimately fail in the majority of infected individuals. Modern medications can fully suppress HIV replication, but do not cure infection due to the persistence of a small reservoir of HIV infected cells. CTL also hold promise as a means of eradicating these remaining HIV reservoirs, but substantial challenges remain to realize this potential.
In this lecture, Brad Jones will present the evidence supporting a role for the CTL response in determining rates of HIV progression. He will discuss different approaches to enhancing CTL-mediated immune control, including efforts to refocus this response towards vulnerable parts of the virus and a means of enhancing CTL function through nanotechnology. He will also give a perspective on the prospects for harnessing CTL to cure HIV infection. First, he will provide an overview on how viral latency may protect infected cells from elimination, and then focus on his recent work in studying how complexities in the proviral DNA landscape may influence the susceptibility of infected cells to elimination.