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HIV Host Defense Scientific Working Group

The objective of this Scientific Working Group is to enhance and grow research in HIV Host Defense, integrating the research of its CFAR member labs.  The group brings together researchers who are internationally recognized studying diverse aspects of host defense and the innate and adaptive human immune system.  Priority research areas are:

        • Identification and characterization of HIV restriction factors
        • Elucidating the interplay of the Innate and Adaptive Immune system with HIV
        • Developing HIV vaccines
        • Developing novel targets for potential therapeutics




David L. Freelander Memorial Chair in HIV Research, Dr. Jeremy Luban is an internationally distinguished physician-scientist who has been working on HIV/AIDS and related cellular issues in infectious disease for nearly thirty years. He was recently recruited to UMass Chan Medical School from the University of Geneva. One of his most significant contributions to the field is the discovery of cellular factor TRIM-5a that is important for HIV-1 replication or which confer immunity to this deadly virus.  

         Jeremy Luban, MD  



Dr. Shan Lu is a leader in novel vaccine development against a wide range of human pathogens. He designed and conducted the world’s first DNA prime-protein boost AIDS vaccine study in humans, which showed cross-reactive neutralizing antibody responses in volunteers—a major progress in AIDS vaccine development. In addition to HIV vaccines, he has worked on vaccines against emerging infectious disease and bio-defense targets.  Dr. Lu is the current President of the International Society for Vaccines (ISV), an organization of the world's leading vaccine scientists.

        Shan Lu, MD, PhD



      Kate Fitzgerald   Dr. Kate Fitzgerald has made major contributions to our understanding of how the innate immune response recognizes and responds to microbial  challenge. She has published several high impact papers on the recognition of RNA viruses by innate sensors RIG-I and TLR7 and the role of the inflammasome in defense against fungal infections.
  Katherine Fitzgerald, PhD