Research-for-Cure Academy

Maria Laura Polo

Nationality: Argentinian
Institution: Institute of Biomedical Research and Retroviruses (INBIRS)
Country of work: Argentina

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

I started working in the HIV field in 2016, at the INBIRS, Argentina. As a young scientist, I am very enthusiastic about being involved in scientific efforts aiming to find a cure for HIV infection, and so improving the quality of life of people living with HIV. Regarding my work, the study of HIV reservoir dynamics is closely connected with HIV cure research. Understanding the biology of HIV latency may hopefully lead to the achievement and maintenance of viral suppression in the absence of treatment, and in a cure scenario, to complete viral eradication.

What is your current area of research?

Since I started working at the INBIRS, I have been studying the role of the immune system in the progression of liver fibrosis among HIV/HCV-coinfected individuals. HIV/HCV-coinfected subjects represent a vulnerable population since despite antiretroviral therapy; HIV significantly worsens HCV-related hepatic disease. Recently, I have started participating in a collaborative project which evaluates how HIV reservoirs are modulated after HCV clearance with direct acting antivirals.