CHEO Research Institute investigators are actively involved in both clinical and basic science research related to HIV infection. Areas of clinical research include evaluation of responses to routine vaccinations and antiretroviral treatment toxicities in children living with or exposed to HIV. As well, CHEO investigators collaborate with researchers across the country on the epidemiology of HIV in children in Canada. These efforts are aimed at improving the lives of children and families affected by HIV, and preventing new HIV infections.
The group’s major research interests involve studying the role and regulation of cytokines in host defense against microbial infections, especially in HIV immunopathogenesis. Efforts are focused on delineating the regulation of IL-12 family of cytokines, namely IL-12, IL-23 and IL-27, with a special emphasis on understanding the mechanism by which bacterial or HIV infections impact expression and production of these cytokines.
Another focus of the group’s research is to understand the mechanism(s) by which monocytic cells develop resistance to HIV- or HIV Vpr protein-induced apoptosis. The aim is to devise strategies that would promote death of HIV-infected monocytic cells and, as such, potentially eliminate monocytic viral reservoirs.