Molecular biology of HIV infections.
Study of the structure/function and pathogenetic meaning of HIV gene products also in relation to the cellular interactors, tropism and cellular damage and death.
Study of HIV isolates (in terms of receptor, cell tropism, subtypes, recombinants, resistant mutants). Viral and dynamic fitness of the quasispecies.
Identification of new therapeutic targets through the study of molecular interactions among the viral and host factors (cellular and humoral) by also using high-throughput technologies of proteomics, genomics and gene expression and silencing
Factors of the host (genetic and immunology)
- Factors of the host which conditions the susceptibility/resistance to infection, transmission, progression of AIDS (subpopulations of uninfected exposed individuals, elite controllers, long term non progressors , fast progressors).
- Mechanisms whose determinants of the adaptive and innate immunity (pro and anti-inflammatory response) change the lifecycle of HIV in the target cells, in the various tissues, organs and all those involved (including mucosal infection and immunity).
- Analysis of the epitopic specificities (both B and T) of the adaptive immunity and their relevance to the mechanisms of protection and/or progression.
- Pathogenesis of acquired immunodeficiency and progression in AIDS.
- Immunopathogenesis of immunodeficiency in acute and chronic infections: immune activation, cell death, dysregulation of T cells and other effector and mediator cells of the host in the different virus reservoirs.
- The effect of early events on the progression of the illness. Role of: first infection, immune activation, invasion of GALT and SNC, formation of viral reservoirs and infected cells.