Our research activities are centered on the discovery of mechanisms responsible for the control HIV replication and HIV-induced chronic inflammation
Since the discovery of HIV at the Institut Pasteur, tremendous progress has been made in preventing and treating HIV infection. However, a vaccine and a cure are still missing. Our laboratory aims to discover mechanisms that control HIV infection and HIV-associated disease. Our original approach consists in learning from the efficient control of HIV/AIDS that exists in HIV-infected individuals who control HIV replication, either spontaneously or after an antiretroviral treatment (HIV remission) and in some very rare animal models of spontaneous protection against AIDS. We aim to carefully decipher the immunological events and/or genetic factors that are responsible for such a protection in vivo.
Current studies aim to understand how these protective mechanisms are induced. We focus in particular on:
– the early phases of HIV/SIV infection
– the interplay between innate and adaptive immunity
– epigenetic modulations induced by HIV/SIV infections
– regulation of HIV infection through metabolic factors
The studies shall help to define scalable approaches for a durable HIV remission and contribute to the development of an efficient vaccine against HIV. In addition, the studies are designed to allow for the screening of biomarkers of inflammation and HIV remission, an essential step for clinical management for the patients. On the long term, such results might also contribute to a better understanding of the factors regulating the critical balance between helpful inflammation (leading to efficient antiviral immune responses) and harmful inflammation (enhancing infection and disease).