Biochemistry and molecular biology of HIV infection; Antiviral mechanisms
Dr. Aiken, is the program director of the Microbe-Host Interactions Ph.D. Program, a Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology and the Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
The focus of the Aiken lab is to understand the molecular events governing HIV replication in order to develop novel antiviral therapies. We use the tools of biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology to study virus-host cell interactions. We also collaborate with structural biologists to understand the structure and function of the viral capsid. We are particularly interested in interactions between virus and host cell proteins. Current projects include:
- HIV-1 capsid structure and function (Cell 139:780-90, 2009; Nature 497:643-6, 2013).
- Role of host cell proteins in HIV-1 infection (J. Virol. 82:12001-8, 2008; J. Virol. 87:422-32, 2013).
- Mechanism of HIV-1 restriction by TRIM5alpha (PLos Pathog. 4(5):e1000074, 2008; J. Virol. 84:6564-69, 2010; PLos Path 7:e1002009, 2011; J. Virol. 87:9271-8, 2013).
- Identification and mechanisms of HIV-1 capsid inhibitors (J. Virol. 85:542-9, 2011).
- Conformational Masking of HIV-1 Env proteins during virion maturation (PLoS Pathog 7:e1002234, 2011).