Lillian Cohn, Ph.D.


Lillian Cohn, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
1100 Fairview Ave. N, E5-110
City, State, ZIP
Seattle, WA 98109
[email protected]
Research field
HIV; Infectious disease
Award year


My lab investigates the mechanisms that allow HIV to persist indefinitely inside people living with HIV. Antiretroviral therapies (ART) suppress the replication of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. However, if these treatments are suspended, dormant viruses harbored by CD4+ T cells reactivate and reinitiate infection. In previous studies, I discovered that this pool of latently infected cells, termed the “latent reservoir,” that persist during treatment aren’t static, but are dynamic and can even proliferate during immune responses to other infections. Now, using advanced methods in molecular genetics, immunology, virology, computational modeling, and genomics, I will probe the cellular and molecular factors that facilitate the persistence of HIV during ART. We are interested in certain regions of the infected host cell genome that provide a safer place for the integrated provirus to avoid immune detection during treatment, which will contribute to the longevity of latently infected cells. This potential genomic safe haven will also shape the immune system’s response to reactivated virus during treatment interruption. Our ultimate goal is to identify new interventions for eradicating and controlling HIV worldwide.

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