Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has revolutionised the treatment of infection with Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and has dramatically reduced mortality and morbidity in HIV-infected patients. However, HIV infection is still a global health burden with 36.7 million people infected at the end of 2016 with approximately only 53% of those individuals having access to ART. Although ART is successful in suppressing viral load, it needs to be taken lifelong, has side effects and is expensive. Therefore, there is an urgent need to cure HIV or strategies to induce virus remission so that ART can be stopped without viral rebound.
The aim of this research project is to evaluate the potential of using donor specific stem-cells to engineer plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) and use them as cell-based therapy to treat infection with HIV. The objective is to examine how pDC can induce killing of HIV infected cells through i) CD8+ T cells, ii) natural killer (NK) cells iii) antibody-dependent effector cells or iv) directly by inducing a so-called “killer DC” phenotype.
Evaluating the effect of genetically engineered human plasmacytoid dendritic cells to induce specific anti-HIV responses and kill HIV-infected cells
Area of research:
HIV, dendritic cells, immunomodulation, therapeutic vaccine
1 Oct 2018 – 30 Sep 2021
AIAS-COFUND II Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow
This fellowship has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 754513 and The Aarhus University Research Foundation.