Virginie Gautier

Tuesday, 12 June 2018 | 12:00 noon

UCD Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases (CRID), School of Medicine, University College Dublin, IRELAND

Unlocking HIV latency: Identifying novel targets at the host-virus interface for HIV CURE strategies

(Host: A. Marcello)

Finding a CURE for 37 Million individuals living with HIV and AIDS is one of the great global health challenges of the 21st century. The major obstacle to HIV CURE is the persistence of latent HIV cellular reservoirs, where the integrated viral genome is epigenetically silenced. The development of novel strategies aimed at eliminating these reservoirs have become paramount in HIV research, if we want to achieve an HIV CURE. Current limitations faced by “shock and Kill” strategies aiming at reducing persistent viral reservoirs by forcing HIV- 1 gene with Latency Reversing Agents (LRAs), highlight that additional layers of control for HIV gene silencing limit their impact. In this context, we have developed a molecular pathway-driven translational research platform to identify new druggable targets at the host-virus interface and to screen for new classes of LRAs using in vitro and ex vivo cellular models of HIV latency.

Dr Gautier leads a research group focused on HIV molecular pathogenesis, the host-virus interface and HIV cure research at the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases (CRID) in University College Dublin, IRELAND. Dr Gautier ́s group has extensive expertise in molecular and cellular virology, epigenetics, patients cell-based assays, targeted drug screening and proteomics. She has been awarded national competitive research grants from the Irish Health Research Board (HRB), the Irish Research Council (IRC) and Entreprise Ireland (EI) funding to develop her research program. In parallel, she is the coordinator of the H2020 funded European EU4HIVCURE consortium, which aims to accelerate the state of the Art in HIV CURE research in Europe.