|Education||BS, Florida State University|
|Current Position||Medical School|
University of Maryland Medical School
Despite the use of highly active anti-retroviral therapy, HIV patients are susceptible to develop neurologic disorders. In addition, availability of drugs and their efficiency in reducing virus reservoirs in the brain is highly reduced by the blood-brain barrier. HIV enters the brain during acute infection and is thought to replicate in cells of myeloid lineage such as microglia and perivascular macrophages. Once peripheral monocytes become infected they can travel the blood and populate the brain parenchyma where they differentiate into macrophages and start the production of more virus.
Macrophage populations are highly plastic and can exhibit different phenotypes depending on the signals available in the surrounding environment. According to cytokines secreted by neighboring cells, macrophages can exhibit a pro-inflammatory, anti-inflammatory or alternative activation. The roles of the different macrophage phenotypes during HIV infection is still unclear.
In the retrovirus lab, we use an accelerated SIV infected pigtailed macaque model that closely mimics HIV infection and disease progression in humans. In addition, we use monocyte derived macrophages to study the effect of cytokine treatments in their response to SIV infection. Using both models, my project aims to dissect the distinct roles of cytokine activation in myeloid cells and their effect on disease permissibility.
Avalos CR, Price SL, Forsyth ER, Pin JN, Shirk EN, Bullock BT, Queen SE, Li M, Gellerup D, O’Connor SL, Zink MC, Mankowski JL, Gama L, Clements JE. Quantitation of Productively Infected Monocytes and Macrophages of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Macaques. J Virol. 2016 May 27;90(12):5643-56. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00290-16. Print 2016 Jun 15. PMID:27030272
Aggarwal NR, D’Alessio FR, Eto Y, Chau E, Avalos C, Waickman AT, Garibaldi BT, Mock JR, Files DC, Sidhaye V, Polotsky VY, Powell J, Horton M, King LS. Macrophage A2A adenosinergic receptor modulates oxygen-induced augmentation of murine lung injury. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2013 May;48(5):635-46. PMID:23349051
D’Alessio FR, Tsushima K, Aggarwal NR, Mock JR, Eto Y, Garibaldi BT, Files DC, Avalos CR, Rodriguez JV, Waickman AT, Reddy SP, Pearse DB, Sidhaye VK, Hassoun PM, Crow MT, King LS. Resolution of experimental lung injury by monocyte-derived inducible nitric oxide synthase. J Immunol. 2012 Sep 1;189(5):2234-45. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1102606. Epub 2012 Jul 27. PMID:22844117