Ectonucleotidase CD73: A Key Player in HIV Persistence

  • Vitalant Research Institute, San Francisco, California, USA University of California, San Francisco, California, USA Free University of Berlin, Institute of Biochemistry, Berlin, Germany    

Hannah Sabeth Sperber is a doctoral student in Satish Pillai’s lab at Vitalant Research Institute. Her graduate work focuses on developing and implementing unbiased technologies to identify biomarkers and host immune features of HIV latently-infected cells – the main obstacle to an HIV cure. In her graduate studies, she discovered that the ectonucleotidase CD73 plays a key role in HIV persistence by reinforcing HIV latency and suppressing immune clearance of infected cells. She is now investigating the potential of CD73 as a pharmacological target to eliminate the latent HIV reservoir.

Hannah graduated from Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, with a Master’s degree in Molecular Life Science after completing her Master’s thesis project at the Weizmann Institute in Israel. She then entered a Ph.D. program at the Free University in Berlin, Germany, performing her doctoral thesis project in the USA. During that time, she has received several conference scholarships to present her Ph.D. thesis work at international meetings, including the International Scholarship Award (AIDS - 2018), the Young Investigator Grant (HIV Persistence During Therapy – 2019), and the New Investigator Scholarship (CROI – 2020).