Keith Reeves, Ph.D.
New England Primate Research Center
Title: "Role of Natural Killer Cells in Vaccine-Elicited Control of HIV/SIV Infections"
Description: Natural killer (NK) cells, as part of the innate immune response, are among the first cells to respond during HIV and SIV infections and are effective at killing virus-infected cells and inhibiting viral replication. Unlike adaptive T and B cells, NK cell responses are non-specific to the pathogen and had been previously thought to have little to no involvement in vaccine efficacy. However, very recent research suggests NK cells may actually play a very significant role in vaccine protection and we are currently investigating their involvement in the highly effecacious live attenuated vaccine, SIVdeltanef, using the rhesus macaque model of HIV infection.
Mentors: R. Paul Johnson, M.D. - I have worked under Paul for two years as a postdoctoral fellow and his expertise in the SIV field and vaccine research made him ideally suited as a mentor to guide me through the execution of this project as well as my development as a young scientist.