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Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

   Division of Infectious Diseases

Research


Macatangay Laboratory


Macatangay Laboratory

The Macatangay Lab is involved in research on HIV-associated inflammation and on immunotherapeutic strategies for achieving sustained HIV remission off antiretroviral therapy. Specifically, the overall goal of our research is to further define the role of immunoregulatory pathways in HIV-associated inflammation and HIV persistence in order to design successful immunotherapeutic strategies to decrease chronic inflammation and address important knowledge gaps in HIV cure research. In addition, the Macatangay Lab also serves as the specimen processing lab for the University of Pittsburgh Clinical Research Site.


RESEARCH AREAS

  1. Immunoregulation in HIV: The role of immunoregulatory pathways in the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection as well as their role in immunotherapeutic strategies is still not fully defined. They could be detrimental in that they suppress HIV-specific responses thereby leading to viral persistence. On the other hand, they could be beneficial in that these pathways can suppress chronic HIV-associated inflammation which has been linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases.

  2. HIV Immunotherapy: An important aspect of HIV cure research is to evaluate immunotherapeutic strategies to boost HIV-specific responses. It is critical to have immunologic readouts to accurately detect response from these strategies. In addition, evaluation of how immunoregulatory cells affect responses to different immunotherapeutic strategies is critical in optimizing these therapeutic strategies.

  3. Chronic Inflammation in HIV: Despite virologic suppression on ART, HIV-infected individuals continue to have residual immune dysfunction as evidenced by elevated levels of systemic inflammation and immune activation. This immune dysfunction has been associated with an increased risk for chronic non-AIDS-associated diseases. There are several hypotheses on the pathogenesis of this immune dysfunction, including gut microbial translocation and gut dysbiosis, reactivation of herpesviruses, and immune dysregulation. Understanding these factors can aid in developing strategies that can decrease levels of systemic inflammation.