Sallie Permar, Ph.D.
Children's Hospital Boston
Title: "Vaccine-induction of HIV/SIV-specific, protective immune responses in breast milk"
Description: Breast milk transmission of HIV remains a major mode of HIV transmission from mother to child in the developing world, where formula feeding is associated with high morbidity and mortality. My project will investigate the feasibiity of a maternal vaccination strategy to reduce breast milk transmission of HIV in the nonhuman primate/SIV lacation model. Furthermore, I will study HIV-specific immune responses in breast milk of transmitting and nontransmitting mothers in order to determine the immune responses in breast milk that are associated with protection from infant HIV aquisition.
Mentors: My mentors are Dr. Norman Letvin at Harvard Medical School, a leading HIV vaccine researcher and expert in nonhuman primate studies of candidate HIV vaccines, and Dr. Coleen Cunningham at Duke University, an expert in clinical pediatric HIV vaccine trials.