Jesse Deere, PhD
I have received extensive training in animal models of infectious disease, antiviral therapy, vaccine development, and including extensive work on HIV persistence. These past experiences, including education experiences and research experiences, make me exceptionally well suited to pursue a training grant investigating an HIV cure strategy. After earning my Bachelor of Science Degree, I worked at AVI BioPharma, Inc., developing novel antibacterial agents with Dr. Bruce Geller and Dr. Patrick Iversen. We advanced this work to testing in a mouse model of bacterial infection and received a patent award for our work. As a graduate student at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), I worked in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas W. North utilizing the rhesus macaque model for AIDS to study viral persistence during combination antiretroviral therapy. This work included studies focused on determining the viral reservoir during antiretroviral therapy and therapeutic approaches designed to disrupt viral persistence. For two years of this work I was funded by, and participated in, an NIH T32 training grant (Dr. Jay Solnick was the principal investigator). My Postdoctoral training in Dr.Peter A. Barry’s lab at the Center for Comparative Medicine at UC Davis focused on using the nonhuman primate models of Cytomegalovirus and HIV to develop vaccines. This work included the construction and characterization of a CMV vaccine vector for HIV. In the process of vaccine development, we investigated numerous aspects of immunology, viral pathogenesis and mechanisms of viral persistence. These studies led to publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and scientific abstract presentations and are laying the groundwork for my career as an independent research scientist in medical microbiology.