BASIC SCIENCES PROGRAMME

Head of Programme: 

In spite of all the prevention efforts and existing knowledge on HIV transmission, new infections continue to occur. In addition, like most resource limited countries, the large number of patients who require lifelong ART brings additional challenges. This Programme conducts research that contributes to a better understanding of virological, immunological and genetic factors required for the development of effective preventive and therapeutic interventions against HIV-1. This programme contributes to the understanding of the pathogenesis of HIV infection in an African setting, and allows eventual translation of our findings into clinical practice. The programme also conducts studies that build understanding of the current epidemic at a molecular level for better control. Activities are normally conducted using the well-established cohorts and laboratory infrastructure with longitudinal clinical data and in most cases specimens collected over a period of time. We handle studies that we are uniquely positioned to address in our multidisciplinary setup, in populations infected mainly by HIV-1 subtypes A and D and that build on our past achievements and results. In the past few years the laboratory facilities have been expanded with the latest technology such as LSR-II flowcytometry, three sequencing machines, a WHO accredited reference laboratory in HIV drug resistance testing, and GCLP standards which have been extended to the cellular immunology laboratory in Masaka, allowing us to collect and store specimens within the recommended time. We also build on our already extensive collaborations with different partners.

Major Research Themes in the current 5year (2012-2017) Programme
1. Molecular virology studies to better understand the epidemic, and the development of resistance to HIV drugs.
2. Virological and host factors associated with HIV-1 super infection.
3. Potential protective immune responses against HIV through PrEP in highly exposed populations.
4. Understanding factors associated with the development of broadly neutralizing antibodies.
5. Impact of worm co-infections on HIV immune responses.
6. Immune responses to HIV vaccine candidates

PROJECTS

Study Title; Test

Status Start Main PI Project Leader
Concluded Feb 2009 Test1, Test 2