Retroviral Replication Laboratory

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

Retroviral Replication Laboratory


 

The Retroviral Replication Laboratory (RRL) is composed of seven Sections:

The Vector Design and Replication Section, directed by Stephen H. Hughes, has a long-standing research program focused on HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and has more recently been developing and testing novel inhibitors of HIV-1 integrase.  Dr. Hughes has also recently made major advances in understanding the importance of clonal expansion of HIV-1-infected cells in patients on therapy.

The Retrovirus Assembly Section, led by Alan Rein, studies structure-function relationships in viral RNA and cellular defense mechanisms against retroviruses and other viral pathogens, focusing primarily on the roles of Gag protein elements, nucleic acids, and host factors in virus assembly.

The Virus-Cell Interaction Section, under the direction of Eric O. Freed, is well known for its work on HIV-1 Gag trafficking; virus assembly and release, and envelope glycoprotein incorporation into virions, with a focus on the host cell factors involved in these processes.  This Section also has an interest in HIV-1 maturation, in particular with respect to developing inhibitors of maturation and understanding how they act.  Recent work in this Section has also focused on the ability of Env mutations to broadly rescue defects in virus replication, including those conferred by antiretrovirals.

The Viral Recombination Section, directed by Wei-Shau Hu, focuses on mechanisms used by HIV-1 to transfer its genetic information during replication, including RNA genome packaging, virus assembly, reverse transcription, and recombination.  This Section combines imaging, virological, and biochemical approaches to study the biology of HIV-1 RNA including trafficking, translation, and packaging.  

The Viral Mutation Section, headed by Vinay K. Pathak, focuses on elucidating the early stage of HIV-1 replication, which include nuclear import, capsid disassembly, the timing and location of reverse transcription, intranuclear transport and localization, and integration site selection.  This Section also focuses on the structure and function of Vif and host restriction APOBEC3 proteins, and development of lentiviral vectors for delivery of Vif-resistant APOBEC3 proteins to HIV-1 target cells as a gene therapy strategy for treatment and functional cure. 

The Antiviral Immunity and Resistance Section, led by Alex Compton, focuses on mechanisms of 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.

The research interests of the Tumor Virus RNA Biology Section, directed by Zhi-Ming (Thomas) Zheng, center on the RNA processing, RNA-protein interactions, and tumorigenesis of tumor viruses including high-risk human papillomaviruses and Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus.