VIDD Research Programs

VIDD’s Division strategy involves methodically uncovering findings in the laboratory that inform prevention studies in the clinic. Advanced statistical methods are used to analyze our experiments and reveal practical insights that guide patient care. Our advanced computational analyses help scientists and policymakers predict and prevent future outbreaks.

VIDD’s research encompasses an international scope, seeking preventions and cures for globally significant diseases including HIV, Ebola, tuberculosis, malaria and West Nile Virus. We also maintain robust research efforts to prevent and treat the most dangerous infections for cancer patients and people with weakened immune systems. These include cytomegalovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and multiple herpes viruses.

Networks and Initiatives

VIDD plays a key role in several large-scale research networks dedicated to the elimination of infectious diseases. Our faculty members lead administrative and scientific efforts within these networks and initiatives. Through these collaborations, VIDD is leveraging comprehensive and efficient approaches to eliminate or reduce the morbidity and mortality of infectious diseases:

Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Epidemiology (BBE)

Using mathematical modeling, computational biology, epidemiology and statistics, scientists within our BBE Program determine how infectious diseases are spread and contained. Our researchers collaborate across multiple research areas to incorporate biostatistics, bioinformatics and population modeling throughout vaccine design, development, evaluation and deployment.
 

Tracking the Spread of Viruses

The Bedford lab studies the dynamics of virus populations to understand how strains evolve and spread throughout the world. The team is particularly interested in how viruses mutate in response to host immune responses as well as the factors that make certain strains more virulent and infectious.

Bedford Lab

 

Modeling Human Infectious Disease Processes

The Chen group employs biostatistics, bioinformatics, epidemiology, and mathematical modeling to answer questions on human infectious disease processes and prevention.

Chen Group

 

Analyzing Vaccine Clinical Trials

The Fong group uses biostatistical modeling and computational methods to analyze the effectiveness of vaccine candidates in clinical trials. The team collaborates with clinical research teams striving to eliminate HIV, dengue and cholera.

Fong Group
 

Developing HIV Vaccine Trials and Statistical Methods

The Gilbert Group researches the statistical design and analysis of HIV vaccine efficacy trials, with emphasis on assessing immune correlates of vaccine-induced protection. Though focused on HIV vaccine trials, their research contributes to general areas of statistical methods research including surrogate endpoint assessment, causal inference, survival analysis, and efficient randomized trial design.

Gilbert Group

 

Analyzing Biological Data With Statistics and Software

The Gottardo Lab develops statistical methods and software tools for the analysis of high throughput biological data with an emphasis on immunology and vaccine research. In collaboration with bench scientists and clinicians, they investigate severe diseases such HIV, malaria and cancer, to ultimately help develop vaccines and/or a cure.

Gottardo Lab
 

Using Analytics to Gain a Broader View of Vaccine Effects

The Halloran Group researches study designs and analytic methods for evaluating vaccines in populations. Research includes developing new methods as well as applying existing methods to novel applications. Going beyond the direct protective effects, they use a variety of analytic methods to understand the indirect and overall effects of vaccination programs.

Halloran Group
 

Expanding the Use of Biomarkers in Disease Identification and Treatment

The Huang Group develops statistical methods for design and analysis of biomarker studies for disease screening, surrogate endpoint identification and treatment selection in cancer and infectious diseases. They study how to efficiently select biomarkers among high-dimensional candidates and derive marker-based individualized rules, using data from randomized trials and observational studies.

Huang Group

Learn more about the research within Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Epidemiology through these faculty profiles:

Dr. Brown’s profile
Dr. Donnell’s profile
Dr. Hyrien’s profile
Dr. Janes’s profile

 

Immunology and Vaccine Development (IVD)

Scientists in our IVD Program aim to gain a fundamental understanding of the immune system, so we can create effective vaccines against serious global diseases. Our ultimate goal is to create vaccines that induce broader, more effective responses against infectious diseases. We also work to develop novel therapies for cancer, HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and other related infections. Researchers in IVD pursue investigations in the molecular underpinnings of immune regulation, vaccine immune monitoring and HIV vaccine and adjuvant design.
 

From South America to Africa, Approaching HIV Prevention in Myriad Ways

The HOPE Group (HIV Outcomes, Prevention and Epidemiology) focuses on interventions among African women to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission via breastfeeding, and on trials of prophylactic HIV vaccines through the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). The lab also conducts clinical studies and research in non-human primates and antiretroviral treatment to prevent onward HIV transmission in Peru.

HOPE Group
 

Improving Human Health and Reproduction

The Hladik Lab conducts laboratory studies and uses systems biology tools to understand the interplay between pathogens, the mucosa and medical interventions. They focus on preventing and treating sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV.

Hladik Lab
 

Studying the Interaction Between the Microbiome and Vaccines

The Kublin Lab studies the role of the microbiome in vaccine responses, with a focus on how specific microbes and their metabolites modulate host innate and adaptive immune responses. Their work includes developing discrete microbial consortia to manipulate vaccine responses in gnotobiotic mouse models, as well as investigating microbiome and immunogenicity data from HIV, malaria, and TB clinical trials.

Kublin Lab
 

Immunity and HIV, Hsv-2, Influenza and West Nile Virus

The Lund Lab investigates the basic mechanisms of immunity in the context of viral infection. They also investigate the immune correlates of protection from HIV infection among exposed seronegative individuals, and the potential immune modulatory effects of using pre-exposure prophylaxis.

Lund Lab
 

Preventing Disease Through Partnerships, Worldwide

The McElrath Lab applies multi-disciplinary and cross-platform approaches to their studies on HIV, malaria and tuberculosis vaccines, partnering with multiple organizations in various countries.

McElrath Lab

Understanding Antibodies to Improve Vaccine Efficacy

The McGuire Lab studies antibody response to natural infection with viral pathogens of public health importance. Through increased knowledge of protective antibody responses to viral antigens, they design and test safe and effective vaccines.

McGuire Lab

Human T Cell Immunology

The Newell lab develops and applies novel methods for identifying and characterizing antigen-specific human T cells in the context of cancer and chronic infection, with the goal of identifying specific and accurate biomarkers of human health and disease.

Dr. Newell’s profile
 

Defining the Functional Plasticity and Potential of T Cells

The Prlic laboratory primarily studies T cell and innate-like T cell responses in mucosal tissues, with a particular interest in understanding how these cells function during infections and cancer occurrences. By understanding the molecular basis of cell activation and differentiation, they hope to learn how to manipulate the cells for therapeutic purposes and to improve human health.

Prlic Lab
 

Investigating B Cell Responses to Infection and Vaccination

The Stamatatos Lab investigates the activation, survival and maturation of B cell clonal lineages, and develops new immunogens and immunization regimens to target these lineages in vivo. The lab employs diverse experimental approaches, with work spanning the pre-clinical stage to clinical evaluation of candidate vaccines.

Stamatatos Lab

Advancing Basic Science and Vaccine Research

The Strong Lab investigates translational biophysics, structural molecular immunology and vaccinology. They apply biophysical approaches to understand the recognition mechanisms of innate and adaptive immunoreceptors from a molecular perspective, ultimately furthering vaccine development and engineering targeted immunotheranostics.

Strong Lab

Building a Better Vaccine

The Taylor Lab studies the mechanisms limiting the generation of a protective B cell response using their recently developed enrichment method. These approaches allow for the phenotypic and functional analysis of naive and activated B cells, leading to increased knowledge in effective vaccine design.

Taylor Lab

Exploring the Relationship Between Cancer and the Immune System

The Warren Lab focuses on cancer immunology, with a particular interest in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate cancer regression after immune-based therapy. They frequently use preclinical models to study the interaction of human cancer with the immune system.

Warren Lab

Infectious Disease Sciences (IDS)

Scientists in our IDS Program apply laboratory, clinical and computational approaches to advance our knowledge and understanding of infectious diseases. We concentrate on detecting, preventing and treating infectious diseases as well as mitigating serious diseases in immunocompromised individuals, who are at high risk for infection. Our goal is to advance knowledge of host-pathogen interactions and develop innovative management strategies for infectious diseases.
 

Preventing and Treating Infections in Immunocompromised Patients

The Boeckh Lab strives to prevent infectious disease in immunocompromised hosts and to reduce the severity of infections that do occur. The team focuses on herpes viruses (primarily cytomegalovirus and human herpes virus 6), respiratory viruses, and biomarkers that define susceptibility to infectious diseases.

Boeckh Lab

Viral Immunology and Tissue-Based Immunity

The Corey Lab focuses on studying the battlefield between tissue-based host responses and chronic persistent viruses such as HSV-2 and HIV. The team seeks to understand how tissue resident cells in the genital tract contribute to host containment of HSV-2, with the goal to develop therapies that control HSV-2 reactivation and reduce transmission. The lab also conducts studies using genetically engineered T cells to eradicate HIV infection.

Corey Lab

Understanding Microbial Communities in Health and Disease

The Fredricks Lab uses molecular biological tools such as broad range 16S rRNA gene PCR to describe microbial diversity in unique sites of the human body. They identify specific microbial communities associated with disease states including graft-vs.-host disease and bacterial vaginosis.

Fredricks Lab

Infections in Immunocompromised Hosts

The Hill Group studies the epidemiology of infections in immunocompromised populations, with a focus on improving preventative and treatment strategies for infections. Their areas of research focus include studies of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and other viral infections in bone marrow transplant recipients, as well as the infectious complications of CAR-T cell immunotherapies.

Hill Group

Fighting Viruses Through Gene Therapy

The Jerome Lab investigates the use of gene editing enzymes and other gene therapy approaches to target persistent viral infections. These approaches offer the prospect of cure for human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B virus, and herpes simplex virus infections.

Jerome Lab

Improving Gene Therapy to Fight Cancer, Hiv and Genetic Diseases

The Kiem Lab studies cell and gene therapy with a particular interest in the biology of blood and marrow stem cells and the development and use of novel genome editing technologies. The overall goal is to improve stem cell transplantation and to develop effective cell and gene therapy treatments for patients with genetic and infectious diseases and cancer. The team’s clinical research focuses on using gene therapy to treat genetic and acquired diseases, including glioblastoma and HIV.

Kiem Lab

 

Improving Patient Outcomes Through Appropriate Use of Antimicrobials

The Liu Group focuses on evaluating and optimizing the usage of antimicrobials and infectious disease diagnostic tests. They aim to improve outcomes for cancer patients and prevent the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistant pathogens.

Dr. Liu’s profile
 

Improving Cancer Care in Resource-Limited Settings

The Menon Group strives to enhance cancer diagnostics in Uganda, and to improve the care of patients with cancer in resource-limited regions.

Dr. Menon’s profile
 

Preventing Infections in Susceptible Populations

The Pergam Group studies the prevention of infections in cancer patients, transplant recipients and other immunocompromised populations. They investigate risk factors for healthcare and community-acquired infections in these groups.

Pergam Group
 

Investigating HIV-Associated Malignancies

The Phipps Group focuses on human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) virology and the pathogenesis of Kaposi sarcoma (KS), the most common HIV-associated malignancy worldwide. Specific areas of investigation include factors associated with KS presentation and treatment outcomes, as well as host and viral gene expression in KS tumors.

Dr. Phipps’s profile
 

Models and More: Various Approaches to Fighting Infectious Disease

The Schiffer Group uses mathematical models to generate novel hypotheses that inform the design and implementation of clinical and laboratory experiments. Their projects are highly multi-disciplinary and address clinically important questions in the fields of HIV cure, tissue-resident T cells, herpes infections, the human microbiome and viral infections in persons undergoing stem cell transplantation.

Schiffer Group
 

Controlling Chronic Viral Infections

The Wald Lab studies the epidemiology and natural history of chronic viral infections in immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts. They also work on clinical trials of antiviral therapeutics and prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for viral pathogens. Other ongoing studies address the interaction between sexually transmitted infections and the microbiome.

Dr. Wald’s profile