Michael Peluso, MD, MPhil, MHS, DTM&H

  • Division of HIV, ID, and Global Medicine


My long-term scientific interests involve the pathogenesis of HIV infection, with a focus on understanding the mechanisms by which HIV persists despite uninterrupted treatment and how we can move toward the management or elimination of HIV reservoirs to achieve durable control of the virus without the need for lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART).

As a fellow at UCSF, my research has focused on the virologic and immunologic mechanisms underlying HIV persistence and natural control of HIV infection. For the last two years, I have led several observational and interventional studies related to HIV immunology under the mentorship of Drs. Steven Deeks and Timothy Henrich. This includes efforts to measure changes in the HIV reservoir over time using the novel intact proviral DNA assay (IPDA) in close collaboration with Dr. Robert Siliciano, defining a novel biomarker of HIV persistence in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CD30), understanding the clinical impact of immunomodulatory agents on the HIV reservoir, and delineating the ethics of analytic treatment interruption.

Using CFAR funding, I developed SCOPE-EC, a sub-cohort of individuals meeting a strict epidemiologic case definition of natural HIV control, and identified several putative “exceptional controllers,” which represent a novel HIV phenotype that I have proposed to study further as part of a recent K23 Career Development Award submission.

Finally, I have had a leadership role in implementing clinical trials under the mentorship of Dr. Deeks, including a combination intervention meant to induce an HIV remission as well as an analytic treatment interruption study designed to characterize the immunologic processes that occur at the earliest phases of viral rebound.