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Douglas Richman

Affiliation: UCSD SOM
Director, Center for AIDS Research, Professor of Pathology and Medicine
Phone: 858-552-7439


Dr. Richman is Professor of Pathology and Medicine at UCSD. He is Director of the Research Center for AIDS and HIV Infection at the VA San Diego Healthcare System and Director of the Center for AIDS Research at UCSD. He trained as an infectious disease physician and medical virologist at Stanford, the NIH and Harvard before joining the faculty at UCSD in 1976. He has focused his investigation on HIV disease and pathogenesis for the past 20 years. His laboratory was the first to identify HIV drug resistance. The lab joined two others in identifying latently infected CD4 cells as the obstacle to eradication of HIV with potent antiretroviral therapy. Recently his lab described the dynamics of the neutralizing antibody response to HIV and the rapidity of viral escape and evolution in response to this selective pressure.

Research Summary

Current research in Dr. Richman's laboratory focuses on the natural history and molecular pathogenesis of HIV in a cohort of acutely infected patients. These studies include the cell mediated and neutralizing antibody immune responses to HIV and the viral escape and evolution in response to these. With regard to neutralization escape, we are interested in the epitopes that elicit the neutralizing antibody responses to autologous virus in human infections and the viral mutations that account for escape from these responses. We are also interested in characterizing the epitopes that elicit the too infrequent broadly reactive neutralizing responses in some patients. This information is central for the development of an effective HIV vaccine.

In addition virologic investigations include studies of HIV drug resistance, the pathogenetic consequences of virus replication in anatomic compartments and viral latency. Blood plasma, latently infected CD4 T lymphocytes, genital secretions and cerebrospinal specimens are being obtained from patients who are well characterized clinically, virologically and immunologically. These studies address important issues like selective pressures on the evolution of the HIV populations in different body compartments and pathogenesis. They also have important clinical implications with regard to the natural history of disease and treatment.


References From PubMed (NCBI)


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©2008 UCSD/Burnham Molecular Pathology Graduate Program