March 11, 2021

DHVI Faculty Appointments

The DHVI is pleased to announce that Persephone Borrow, PhD has joined the Institute as an affiliate faculty member. Dr. Borrow is a Professor of Viral Immunology at the University of Oxford, UK. Her research focuses on innate and T cell responses in acute and early HIV-1 infection to inform the rational design of effective strategies for HIV prophylaxis and therapy.  Dr. Borrow has been engaged in HIV research since the early 1990s, and her team at Oxford University have collaborated with Dr. Barton Haynes, Director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, and other DHVI investigators for over 15 years.

Dr. Borrow graduated with a BA (Honors) in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge in 1985, followed by a PhD, also from Cambridge, in 1989. She carried out postdoctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute, extending her interests in developing virus-immune system interactions and their roles in determining the balance between virus clearance versus viral persistence and associated pathogenesis in murine virus infection models. She became an Assistant Professor at Scripps and began studying immune responses in human persistent virus infections, including HIV. While at Scripps, Dr. Borrow obtained her first independent NIH funding for her work on CD8 T cell responses in acute HIV-1 infection. She then moved back to the UK to lead the Viral Immunology Group at the newly-established Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research. Here, Dr. Borrow continued to study HIV-specific CD4 and CD8 T cell responses, and also addressed mechanisms involved in dendritic cell activation and T cell priming in murine virus infection models. In 2005 she joined the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Oxford as a Reader, and was promoted to her current position of Professor of Viral Immunology in 2016. Dr. Borrow is also a Edward Jenner Institute Investigator.

Dr. Borrow’s current research focuses on identifying aspects of the host immune response that contribute to protection and pathogenesis during HIV-1 and other clinically-important persistent viral infections, and dissecting virus–immune system interactions, including viral immune evasion strategies and the impact that chronic virus persistence has on the host immune system. Her goals are to inform the rational design of effective prophylactic and therapeutic approaches to combat HIV-1 infection, and to understand basic principles of immune function and regulation that have broad application to development of vaccines and therapeutic strategies for infections, tumors, autoimmune disorders and other diseases.