David Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Title: "Strategies to Improve the Breadth and Focus of Vaccine-Elicited CD8+ T-Lymphocyte Responses"
Description: A major challenge for HIV vaccine development is the enormous genetic diversity of the HIV virus—both at a population level and within each infected individual. Therefore, it is important for candidate HIV vaccines to elicit immune responses that target a broad array of critical viral determinants. In this ECI award-funded research, we will evaluate whether prime-boost vaccine regimens that utilize genectically distinct HIV protein sequences for the prime and boost phases can selectively focus CD8+ T-lymphocyte responses on regions of the virus that are shared between the two immunogens. This strategy may improve our ability to selectively enhance immune responses to highly conserved portions of the HIV virus.
Mentors: My mentors are Dr. Dan Barouch, Chief, Division of Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; and Dr. Raphael Dolin, Dean for Academic and Clinical Programs and Maxwell Finland Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. I approached Drs. Barouch and Dolin for their mentorship because of their extensive experience in designing candidate HIV vaccines and evaluating them in non-human primates and clinical trials.