Host genetic factors associated with HIV latency

Award Recipient - Excellence in Translational Science

Sulggi Lee is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine. She is the recipient of an NIH Translational Scholar K23 Award in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine entitled “A Pharmacogenomics Study of HIV Latency,” which aims to identify host genetic predictors of HIV persistence and identify key genetic predictors of host response to in vivo latency reversal agents. She is mentored by Steven Deeks (clinical translational HIV) and Deanna Kroetz (pharmacogenomics). Her research applies immunologic and genomics methods to patient-oriented cohort and interventional studies.

Sulggi is the principal investigator of a phase IV trial providing immediate antiretroviral therapy (ART) to newly diagnosed acute HIV-infected patients in San Francisco. The goal of this study is to provide rapid treatment and support to new HIV+ individuals during early infection and to better understand early immunologic responses in these individuals that may inform future HIV eradication strategies.

She is also the principal investigator of a phase I trial testing a novel HIV latency reversal agent (kansui) in HIV-infected ART-suppressed individuals, co-leading a pre-clinical non-human primate study to test the safety of kansui prior to initiating the phase I human trial this year. Her other ongoing work includes genomewide association studies evaluating host genetic predictors of biomarkers associated with immune dysfunction during treated HIV disease and gene expression analyses to assess differential in vivo host responses to anti-inflammatory (e.g., canakinumab, an IL-beta inhibitor) and/or latency reversal agents for the treatment of HIV morbidly and eradication.