Investigators

HIV Dynamics and Replication Program
HIV virion image
HIV Dynamics and Replication Program
HIV DRP staff photo September 2019
HIV Dynamics and Replication Program
Melissa Fernandez work-in-progress seminar August 2018
HIV Dynamics and Replication Program
DRP Conference, October 13, 2021
HIV Dynamics and Replication Program
HIV DRP Think Tank Meeting 2017
HIV Dynamics and Replication Program
Sean Patro's poster presentation at CROI 2019
HIV Dynamics and Replication Program
John Coffin and Stephen Hughes participating in This Week in Virology podcast at 2018 Cold Spring Harbor Retroviruses Meeting
HIV Dynamics and Replication Program
Students and postbac fellows in the HIV Dynamics and Replication Program July 2019

Investigators


  • Eric O. Freed, Ph.D.
  • HIV Dynamics and Replication Program
  • Director
  • 301-846-6223 (office)
  • Dr. Freed is recognized as a leader in the field of virus assembly who has made important strides in understanding the mechanisms of retroviral replication at the molecular level, with an emphasis on late stages of the HIV-1 replication cycle.  As Director of the HIV DRP, he oversees a program of basic, translational, and clinical research aimed at developing a better understanding of HIV that can be used to generate more-effective treatment strategies.  His research focuses on HIV-1 Gag trafficking, Env incorporation, virus assembly, budding, release, maturation, and drug resistance.  Dr. Freed has a special interest in the complex relationship between viral proteins and cellular factors and pathways, believing that characterizing fundamental aspects of the retrovirus replication cycle will suggest novel targets for the development of antiretroviral therapies.  Recent work in the Freed lab has also focused on the ability of Env mutations to broadly rescue defects in virus replication, including those conferred by antiretrovirals.

  • Stephen H. Hughes, Ph.D.
  • HIV Dynamics and Replication Program
  • Chief
  • 301-846-1619
  • Dr. Hughes is internationally renowned for his work on the roles of reverse transcriptase (RT) and integrase (IN) in HIV replication.  He is interested in how HIV becomes resistant to RT and IN inhibitors, and in developing drugs that are more effective against the known resistance mutations.  His recent studies focus on HIV integration in individuals.  He serves as Chief of the Retroviral Replication Laboratory and Chief of the Host-Virus Interaction Branch, and from 2006 to 2015 he was Director of the HIV Drug Resistance Program (renamed HIV Dynamics and Replication Program in 2015).

  • Alex Compton, Ph.D.
  • HIV DRP Retroviral Replication Laboratory
  • Investigator
  • 301-846-7144
  • Work in the Antiviral Immunity and Resistance Section, led by Alex Compton, Ph.D., is guided by integrative approaches combining experimental virology, cell biology, and evolutionary biology to reveal dynamic host-virus interactions important for public health.  A focus is placed on mechanisms of host protection mediated by the cell-intrinsic innate immune response, as well as the strategies employed by HIV and emerging viruses to evade or overcome these immune barriers.

  • Wei-Shau Hu, Ph.D.
  • HIV DRP Retroviral Replication Laboratory
  • Senior Investigator
  • 301-846-1250
  • Dr. Hu is widely recognized as a key authority on retroviral recombination, RNA packaging, and virus assembly.  Her innovations in combining molecular biology and biochemical approaches with state-of-the-art microscopy techniques for single-virion particle analysis have led to significant advancements in HIV molecular virology research.  Under Dr. Hu’s direction, the Viral Recombination Section investigates multiple aspects of the retroviral life cycle that affect the transfer of viral genetic information.  These studies have profound implications for questions that are fundamentally important to HIV replication, which can be used to generate new strategies to block the spread of HIV.

  • Mary F. Kearney, Ph.D.
  • HIV DRP Host-Virus Interaction Branch
  • Senior Scientist
  • 301-846-6796
  • Dr. Kearney conducts research on the emergence of HIV drug resistance, the persistence of HIV during antiretroviral treatment (ART), and the sources of rebound viremia after stopping ART.  Her studies, in collaboration with the Clinical Retrovirology Section led by Frank Maldarelli, have demonstrated that a diverse population of HIV-infected cells persist during ART, that some infected cells proliferate despite ART, and that residual viremia during ART can result from viral expression from these cells.  Dr. Kearney heads the Translational Research Section, which aims to understand the genetics, evolution, and persistence of HIV and other RNA viruses and to design new approaches toward targeting and killing infected cells. Currently, she also serves as a member of the NIH Women Scientists Advisors (WSA) Executive Committee and as Chair of the CCR WSA Committee; these groups promote career development and address issues affecting women scientists.

  • Frank Maldarelli, M.D., Ph.D.
  • HIV DRP Host-Virus Interaction Branch
  • Senior Investigator
  • 240-760-6082
  • Dr. Maldarelli heads the Clinical Retrovirology Section, which develops and implements clinical protocols to elucidate mechanisms underlying the emergence of HIV drug resistance in vivo, the dynamics of infection under treatment, and the role of resistance mutations in the efficacy and failure of subsequent treatments.  Representing the clinical research arm of the HIV Dynamics and Replication Program (HIV DRP), Dr. Maldarelli is an Attending Physician in the NIH NIAID/CCMD HIV Clinic and has established extensive collaborations between the HIV DRP in Frederick and both the NCI HIV and AIDS Malignancy Branch and the NIAID HIV clinical research program in Bethesda.

  • Vinay K. Pathak, Ph.D.
  • HIV DRP Retroviral Replication Laboratory
  • Senior Investigator
  • 301-846-1710
  • Dr. Pathak has significantly advanced the field of lentiviral molecular virology with his studies of HIV-1 replication in infected cells.  Under his direction, the Viral Mutation Section has developed innovative live-cell microscopy methods to show that, in contrast to most HIV-1 replication models, intact viral cores are transported into the nucleus, complete reverse transcription in the nucleus, and disassemble (uncoat) near their integration sites just before integration.  Dr. Pathak’s group has significantly contributed to our understanding of how HIV-1 replicates in the presence of potent host restriction APOBEC3 proteins and antiviral drugs.  Additionally, Dr. Pathak’s group played a key role in discovering the origin of a newly identified retrovirus, XMRV, and in quelling a potential public health crisis by refuting the controversial claims associating this virus with chronic fatigue syndrome and prostate cancer.

  • Alan Rein, Ph.D.
  • HIV DRP Retroviral Replication Laboratory
  • Senior Investigator
  • 301-846-1361
  • Dr. Rein is a recognized expert in virus assembly, particularly with respect to human and murine retroviruses.  Other research interests include structure-function relationships in viral RNA and cellular defense mechanisms against retroviruses.  As Head of the Retrovirus Assembly Section, he studies molecular mechanisms of retroviral replication and pathogenesis, with the hope that this understanding will lead to new methods of combatting retrovirus-induced disease, including AIDS. 

  • Zhi-Ming Zheng, M.D., Ph.D.
  • HIV Dynamics and Replication Program
  • Senior Investigator
  • 301-846-7634
  • Dr. Zheng first identified RNA cis-elements in regulation of alternative RNA splicing in papillomavirus in 1996 and has been studying protein-RNA interactions and their consequences in various infections with tumor viruses, including high-risk human papillomaviruses and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. This study aims to understand how RNA splicing and small regulatory RNAs regulate the expression of viral and host genes in viral carcinogenesis. The long-term goal is to develop a series of therapeutic approaches to control viral or cellular gene expression for cancer or AIDS treatments and to identify biomarkers for clinical diagnosis and prognosis.