The central role of the Bioinformatics team at CVVR is to apply state-of-the-art computational methods, and machine learning algorithms to analyze and integrate high throughput data sets to provide analytical tools and support in computational biology and bioinformatics to the broad CVVR community. We aim to accelerate genomics research and its applications in clinical practice by analyzing and integrating high throughput data sets such as bulk and single cell RNA-Seq; metabolome, proteome, cytokines and chemokines profiling, flow cytometry, and high-dimensional tissue imaging to generate and validate mechanistic hypotheses using human and animal models for HIV, SIV, TB, ZIKA, Yellow Fever, and COVID-19 studies.
One of the areas of research aims to understand how humoral and cellular immunity is altered during pregnancy. We study the maternal immune response to the feto-placental unit using basic science to profile immune responses at the uterus in healthy and complicated pregnancies. We also study how pregnancy physiology alters the response to pathogens and vaccines, and how to optimize neonatal immunity through transplacental transfer of antibodies from mother to fetus.
Understanding how immune cells exert functions in their native context is fundamental towards deciphering engineering better defenses against viral infections or cancer. CVVR investigators collaboratively combine their deep expertise in translational immunology, viral pathogenesis and technological breakthroughs in spatial-omics to tackle intractable questions in infectious diseases.
Key breakthroughs in biological research often results from combining engineering innovative solutions to address fundamental questions. CVVR investigators are developing creative molecular tools to re-interrogate key questions in virus-host interactions and immune responses to diseases, thus enabling new insights into targetable therapeutics.
Investigators at the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research are involved in a wide range of clinical research activities, including prospective clinical trials of novel HIV vaccine candidates, detailed immunological and virologic studies of HIV pathogenesis, and clinical trials of novel antiviral compounds in immunocompromised subjects.
Several researchers at CVVR focus their work on the study of viruses that cause neurologic diseases, particularly JC and BK viruses. JC virus causes a devastating neurologic disease called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) that can arise in people who are immunocompromised, such as people with AIDS or patients treated with monoclonal antibodies to suppress the immune system. CVVR faculty are researching new methods to diagnose and treat these neurologic disorders, as well as to better understand the basic science behind the pathology of these neuro-viruses. Additional work is done at CVVR to investigate other pathogens that affect the central nervous system, such as tuberculosis.
Center for Virology and Vaccine Research
3 Blackfan Circle
Boston, MA 02115 – USA
CVVR Clinical Trials Unit