Award Month: 
August - October 2013

Dr. Brumme's research project 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 identify 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.

About Project Leader: Dr. Zabrina Brumme

Dr. Zabrina Brumme received her Ph.D. in Experimental Medicine in 2006 from the University of British Columbia. She then went on to complete a post-doctoral fellowship at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard University (formerly known has the Partners AIDS Research Center), in Boston, Massachusetts. She joined the SFU Faculty of Health Science as an Assistant Professor, Molecular Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, in September 2009. Dr. Brumme currently holds a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institute of Health Research and a Scholar Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. Most recently, Dr. Brumme's work has focused on assessing the consequences of immune escape mutations to HIV replication and viral protein function.