Research Focus

My research involves understanding the interplay of macrophages, cytokines and chemokines in lung infections associated with HIV-infection. The complications associated with AIDS in the ART era are evolving away from those of an infectious nature and towards noninfectious consequences of prolonged survival. HIV-related pulmonary hypertension (HIV-PAH) is a particularly severe example and the majority of HPAH occurs in individuals with a history of intravenous drug use (IVDU). One of my primary research efforts is aimed at understanding mechanistically how HIV-1 and drugs of abuse contribute alone and in concert to the pathogenesis of PAH, which can later help in developing novel and effective therapeutic intervention strategies. Understanding pathways involved in viral-drugs of abuse interactions that cause dysfunction of pulmonary vasculature will add insight into the vascular biology of all arteriopathies such as PAH in general, coronary artery diseases and systemic hypertension. Other focus of the lab is to develop DNA vaccine encapsulated nanoparticles, targeted specifically to antigen presenting cells, as an effective oral vaccination strategy against HIV-1 infection.