Will we know when we’ve cured HIV if we get there??

Saturday, April 22, 2017 - 5:00pm
Biotechnology Center Auditorium, 425 Henry Mall

Speaker Name: 

Robert Striker, MD PhD

Speaker Institution: 

Dept. of Medicine, UW School of Medicine and Public Health




One person out of 30 million has had a sterilizing cure of HIV. While this cure came through a risky stem cell transplant, it demonstrates that cure of HIV is possible. There is general agreement that latently infected CD4 memory T cells are now the major barrier to a cure, but no agreement on how to measure this “reservoir”. Furthermore, the compartment that is easiest to serially sample (blood) likely only contains less than 10% of the reservoir, since most of the reservoir is dispersed in different lymph nodes. Our goal is to correlate blood reservoir measurements with a clinical marker (CD4:CD8 ratio) that is already correlated with immune health and risk of death. We have decreased the time to answer and improved the automation of two types of reservoir measurements TILDA (Tat/rev Induced Limiting Dilution Assay) and Quantitative Viral Outgrowth Assay (QVOA). The TILDA assay we have improved the signal: noise by adding a patented sample prep step developed by Salus Discovery. We have quantified ~300 CD4:CD8 ratio responses over decades and are testing the hypothesis that there will be a correlation between reservoir size in the peripheral blood and ratio responsiveness. Rigorous analysis will be needed to determine how the easily available CD4:CD8 ratio may (or may not) be related to the circulating reservoir but circumstanial evidence already exists and will be discussed.

Brief Biographical Information:
1988, B.S., Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
1995, M.D./Ph.D., Biochemistry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
1998, Internal Medicine Resident, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
2001, Infectious Disease Fellowship, Stanford University Medical Center

Honors and Awards:
1985, 1987 Outstanding Chemistry Student Award, Purdue University
1988 Graduated with Highest Honors and Phi Beta Kappa, Purdue University
1995 Paul Berg Prize in Microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine
1998 HHMI Physician Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
2001 Burroughs Wellcome Career Award Interviewee