The role of pulmonary myeloid cells in HIV-related COPD in individuals on anti-retroviral therapy

Award amount: 50,000.00

Dr. Joshua Vásquez, MD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Experimental Medicine and the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at UCSF who is establishing himself as a clinician-scientist in HIV immunology. This award will provide him with preliminary data and support to apply for future funding for projects aimed at: (1) characterizing the pulmonary reservoir of HIV and (2) to determining whether defects in alveolar macrophages are associated with HIV-related chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and persist, despite antiretroviral therapy. To achieve these goals, he will receive mentorship from Dr. Huang, an expert in the pulmonary complications of HIV with significant experience in leading bronchoscopy-based projects such as this. Additionally, Dr. Vasquez will continue to receive advice from his mentor and lab supervisor Dr. Peter Hunt, the interim chief of the Division of Experimental Medicine at UCSF/ZSFGH, and an expert in HIV translational immunology, specifically the mechanisms and consequences of chronic inflammation during treated HIV disease. This proposal leverages the framework and cohorts of the I AM OLD study of HIV-associated lung inflammation lead by Dr. Huang. As a part of this award Dr. Vasquez will apply existing and novel immunologic techniques to determine how alveolar macrophage programs are altered in the setting of HIV-related pulmonary disease. Ultimately, the training and research plans outlined here will provide preliminary data and experience to support future funding for his transition to being an independent translational researcher focused on elucidating the fundamental principles of myeloid cell biology and informing the development of therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases.