Research-for-Cure Academy

Jeffrey Dorfman

Nationality: U.S. citizen
Institution: Stellenbosch University
Country of work: South Africa

What is your motivation for engaging in HIV cure and remission research?

Our current work in within-donor HIV-1 dynamics has led us to consider HIV-1 reservoirs that reside in tissues and persist during antiretroviral therapy. This is a new area for my lab, and we need to be up to date in our scientific and technical knowledge to be effective in our research and our postgraduate training programme. We are keenly interested in state of the art techniques and state of the art thinking in the field as we develop projects to study the HIV-1 reservoir in people living with HIV.

What is your current area of research?

We study within-donor HIV-1 dynamics, particularly HIV-1 residing in tissues. Our deep sequencing analysis of compartmentalisation between HIV-1 populations in the male genital tract and those in circulation provides new insights into within-host HIV-1 dynamics. Other studies suggest that, in some cases, the HIV-1 transmission bottleneck begins in the genital tract of the donor before transmission. Partial or complete shielding of the genital tract tissue from antibodies in the circulation thus shapes the population of HIV-1 isolates available for transmission to a new host.