HIV Lab

Zabrina Brumme

Abstract

Our research integrates molecular biology, epidemiology and computational approaches to study HIV evolution in response to selection pressures imposed by its human host. One of the greatest challenges to HIV vaccine design is the virus' capacity to evade immune recognition through rapid mutation, a process called "immune escape". Through the analysis of population-based cohorts of HIV-infected individuals in Canada and worldwide, we have created "maps" of HIV genome that systematically indentify specific sites and pathways of immune escape in viral proteins. We are also interested in how human immune selection pressures have shaped HIV evolution over the course of the epidemic, how this evolution has impacted on HIV replication and protein function, and the implications of this on HIV vaccine design.