I'm a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Alejandro Balazs at the Ragon Institute. My post doctoral research comprises of understanding and manipulating the evolutionary potential of HIV in order to enhance the effectiveness of immune pressure and drug therapies in vivo. During my graduate studies I worked in Dr. Eric Hunter's laboratory at the Emory Vaccine Center. My thesis work was focused on determining the genetic and phenotypic characteristics of HIV-1 transmitted/founder viruses in comparison to their non-transmitted counterparts from heterosexual transmission pairs. My work focused on molecular genetics of full-length HIV-1 sequences as well as determing the in vitro replicative capacities of generated infectious molecular clones. Finding a unique characteristic to transmitted/founder viruses might narrow down potential targets for a vaccine or therapeutic.


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Zach Ende and I's Plos Pathogens paper has been published! Here we show that transmission of subtype C HIV-1 does not select for Transmitted/Founder variants with increased replicative capacity or interferon resistance. This has important implications to understanding the mechanisms of HIV transmission and evolution, and has provided insights into the natural barriers of HIV transmission. Heterosexual Transmission of Subtype C HIV-1 Selects Consensus-Like Variants without Increased Replicative Capacity or Interferon-a Resistance

Here's a link to my Oral Presentation at the Research for Prevention Conference in Cape Town, South Africa of my thesis work.