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Microbiology and Immunology

The Division of Microbiology and Immunology at the Yerkes Research Center provides leadership, resources and training to advance molecular and biological approaches to understand, prevent and treat infectious diseases.

By using nonhuman primates and rodents to study the progression of disease and to test new approaches to prevent and treat these infections in the most relevant animal models, Yerkes scientists provide the basic biomedical research that eventually will result in novel strategies for treatment and prevention of infectious diseases in humans. Current research in the Division of Microbiology and Immunology focuses on vaccines and treatments for HIV and AIDS; pathogenesis of immunodeficiency virus infections in nonhuman primates; comparative AIDS research; immunopathogenesis of hepatitis C virus; studies of novel candidate vaccines for Zika virus and group A Streptococccus infections.

One of Yerkes’ foremost scientific goals is the development of a vaccine and a cure for HIV infection and AIDS through efforts that are catalyzed by the recently established ERASE AIDS Program. To this end, scientists in this division receive funding from the NIH through several large collaborative projects, including the Consortium for AIDS Vaccine Research in Nonhuman PrimatesThe Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI-ID), the Integrated Preclinical/Clinical AIDS Vaccine Development program (IPCAVD), the Martin Delaney Collaboratoria for AIDS Cure Research, as well funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guido Silvestri, MD, an internationally recognized leader in AIDS research, serves as Division Chief. Core scientists for the division are Rama Rao Amara, PhDArash Grakoui, PhDR. Paul Johnson, MD, Mirko Paiardini, PhD and Matt Parsons, PhD.

Division Researchers