What We Do

A scientist experimenting on liquids

Our laboratory has 2 major research themes. One focus area is vaccine development, especially for HIV. The laboratory has over 20 years of experience in the development of viral vectors for the delivery of vaccine antigens and the use of animal models to evaluate vaccine strategies. One of our lead vaccine candidates is now in Phase I/II human trials in Europe, India, and Africa.  The laboratory continues to evaluate new and novel strategies for HIV vaccines through funding provided by NIH and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.

The other major research theme is the development of recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) as a vector for gene transfer. The laboratory has made important contributions in this field over the last 10 years, particularly in the areas of vector production and the biology of natural infection with AAV.  The methods invented by the laboratory are now used to produce clinical grade vector that is being used in gene therapy trials in the United States. We continue to seek novel uses for rAAV vectors in the treatment of human and animal diseases, and to investigate the biology of wild-type AAV and its cognate vectors.

In addition to the work noted above, we are also active participants in several other NIH-funded projects and programs including development of vaccines for anthrax (Cease) and hepatitis C virus (Walker) and elucidation of SIV infection of the CNS in monkeys (Swanstrom).