Dissecting the signals that regulate HIV-specific CD8+ T cell exhaustion

Award Recipient - Excellence in Basic Science

Rachel is a third year infectious disease fellow at UCSF working as a post-doc in the McCune/Hunt lab at the Division of Experimental medicine at San Francisco General Hospital. She completed her MD/PhD at Yale, where she worked with Sue Kaech studying the transcriptional regulation of murine virus-specific effector and memory CD8+ T cell differentiation. She joined Mike McCune’s lab in the summer of 2015 (now the McCune/Hunt lab, formally under the direction of Peter Hunt). She is interested in understanding the regulation of HIV-specific CD8+ T cell dysfunction (also known as exhaustion). Specifically, she has been evaluating how different “HIV cure” immunomodulatory clinical interventions designed to boost CD8+ T cell function impact HIV-specific CD8+ T cell effector function, proliferative capacity, and differentiation state. She is grateful to have the opportunity to care for patients in her HIV clinic at Ward 86, the primary care home for many of the participants in the studies she is involved with.