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Iris Chen

Class 2011
Education BS, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Dr. Susan Eshleman

Current Position Public Health Analyst

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)/Bureau of Primary Health Care(BPHC)/Office of Quality Improvement (OQ

Research Interests

Typically, only one or a few HIV variants initiate infection which is then followed by rapid viral replication and evolution. This results in heterogeneous viral populations that can impact disease progression and treatment. Both biological and behavioral factors influence HIV acquisition and may impact the characteristics of the infecting viral population and its subsequent evolution. In the US, black men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV compared to other MSM. The HPTN 061 study enrolled and followed black MSM in six cities across the US over the course of one year. As part of the study, the men completed a behavioral assessment using audio computer-assisted self-interview (ACASI) technology. This assessment identified any HIV risk behaviors participants were engaging in, including sexual practices, substance use, partner characteristics, and transactional sex. During the one year follow-up, 28 men seroconverted for an annual incidence rate of 3.0%. This incidence rate is considered extremely high and underscores the importance of understanding the factors contributing to the HIV epidemic in black MSM in the US. My project is to determine the impact of risk behaviors on the characteristics and evolution of viral populations in HIV-infected black MSM.


Chen I, Huang W, Connor MB, Frantzell A, Cummings V, Beauchamp GG, Griffith S, Fields SD, Scott HM, Shoptaw S, Del Rio C, Magnus M, Mannheimer S, Tieu HV, Wheeler DP, Mayer KH, Koblin BA, Eshleman SH.   CXCR4-using HIV variants in a cohort of Black men who have sex with men: HIV Prevention Trials Network 061. HIV Clin Trials. 2016 Jul;17(4):158-64. doi: 10.1080/15284336.2016.1180771. Epub 2016 Jun 14. PMID:27300696

Chen I, Connor MB, Clarke W, Marzinke MA, Cummings V, Breaud A, Fogel JM, Laeyendecker O, Fields SD, Donnell D, Griffith S, Scott HM, Shoptaw S, del Rio C, Magnus M, Mannheimer S, Wheeler DP, Mayer KH, Koblin BA, Eshleman SH.    Antiretroviral Drug Use and HIV Drug Resistance Among HIV-Infected Black Men Who Have Sex With Men: HIV Prevention Trials Network 061. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2015 Aug 1;69(4):446-52. PMID:25861015

Scott HM, Irvin R, Wilton L, Van Tieu H, Watson C, Magnus M, Chen I, Gaydos C, Hussen SA, Mannheimer S, Mayer K, Hessol NA, Buchbinder S.   Sexual Behavior and Network Characteristics and Their Association with Bacterial Sexually Transmitted Infections among Black Men Who Have Sex with Men in the United States.  PLoS One. 2015 Dec 31;10(12):e0146025. eCollection 2015. PMID:26720332

Chen I, Cummings V, Fogel JM, Marzinke MA, Clarke W, Connor MB, Griffith S, Buchbinder S, Shoptaw S, Del Rio C, Magnus M, Mannheimer S, Wheeler DP, Mayer KH, Koblin BA, Eshleman SH.   Low-level Viremia early in HIV infection.  J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2014 Dec 1;67(4):405-8. PMID:25140905

Chen I, Clarke W, Ou SS, Marzinke MA, Breaud A, Emel LM, Wang J, Hughes JP, Richardson P, Haley DF, Lucas J, Rompalo A, Justman JE, Hodder SL, Eshleman SH.   Antiretroviral Drug Use in a Cohort of HIV-Uninfected Women in the United States: HIV Prevention Trials Network 064. PLoS One. 2015 Oct 7;10(10):e0140074. eCollection 2015. PMID:26445283

Chen I, Khaki L, Lindsey JC, Fry C, Cousins MM, Siliciano RF, Violari A, Palumbo P, Eshleman SH.  Association of pol diversity with antiretroviral treatment outcomes among HIV-infected African children. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 27;8(11):e81213. eCollection 2013. Erratum in: PLoS One. 2013;8(12):doi/10.1371/annotation/6937ccda-2f54-430d-94d0-b71d1ecc5273. PLoS One. 2013;8(12): doi/10.1371/annotation/dd945f7c-c50b-461d-ab38-15e8b0966458. PMID:24312277

Zhang C, Zhi WI, Lu H, Samanta D, Chen I, Gabrielson E, Semenza GL.   Hypoxia-inducible factors regulate pluripotency factor expression by ZNF217- and ALKBH5-mediated modulation of RNA methylation in breast cancer cells. Oncotarget. 2016 Aug 31. [Epub ahead of print]PMID:27590511