HIV-1 genomics in vivo
The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 is a very heterogeneous virus, rapidly adapting to new hosts by, for instance, immune escape variants, or to new environmental changes like antiretroviral therapy by selection of drug-resistant variants. At the same time, HIV-1 generates and maintains a reservoir, one of the main hurdles toward eradication of HIV-1. Our main goals are to better understand the genomic organisation, diversity & evolution of HIV-1 and the subsequent consequences on HIV-1 transmission, maintenance of reservoirs and a chronic infection, viral fitness, and pathogenesis.
Our current research projects comprise investigations on (1) the mechanisms of viral escape from the selective pressure of antiretroviral drugs, (2) the evolution of HIV-1 in patients with primary HIV-1 infection, (3) the determination of specific sequence traits of transmitted HIV-1, (4) the role of HIV-1 derived small non-coding RNAs in HIV-1 replication, and (5) the impact of HIV-1 integration sites on pathogenesis with a focus on viral reservoirs.