News : 2020 : May

Congratulations to Dr. Ronald Desrosiers

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine would like to Congratulate Dr. Ronald Desrosiers on both, his renewed R01 grant “Functional Role of O-Glycosylation of HIV-1”, and on his recently awarded U19 grant “An AAV-Mediated Functional Cure and Its Impact on the Reservoir” in collaboration with Dr. Michael Farzan (Scripps Research Institute – Jupiter, FL). Dr. Desrosiers has been working on understanding the molecular mechanisms of HIV viral immune evasion and pathogenesis, with a focus on vaccine development. Recently, his lab has made the important discovery that some HIV isolates possess sugar residues (glycosylations) on particular amino acids of the envelope spike, and that those sugars can effectively shield the virus against some host-generated antibodies which would otherwise neutralize the infectivity of the virus. The proposed studies will unravel key biochemical details surrounding this viral evasion mechanism from antibodies. Dr. Desrosiers’ research has also been focusing on vector-based strategies to deliver neutralizing antibodies as an approach to treat HIV infection and obtain functional cures. His lab has indeed obtained a striking functional cure in animal studies with such strategy using adeno-associated virus vectors or AAVs by intramuscular inoculation. These studies, in collaboration with Dr. Farzan will help guide and develop the advancement of these highly promising antibody-based approaches to the clinic